Do you have a question about criminal law offences?


Public order offenses nsw

Normal public order offenses have some categories like general, offensive conduct, willful and obscene exposure, public assemblies, trespass, property damage, prostitution etc.

In general, any act will be considered as a public offense if and only if anyone violates any rule in public place through his act. A public place is a place open to the public or used by public regardless of the fact that whether the place is used frequently or not.


According to recent laws, moving in public places being drunk is no more an offense as it was before. If any person is found in an intoxicated state in a public place or behaving in a disorderly manner, then according to new law, the person will be detained until he gets sobered again.

Possession of Knives

It is a certain offense to carry a knife in any public place without any kind of reasonable excuse. If the person carrying the knife is suspected as a threat and proved so then there can be a minimum 5 penalty units which can be in maximum case of 10 penalty units or a 1 year imprisonment.

Offensive Conducts

Offensive mainly means an act that would create disgust in a reasonable man and would make him bound to outburst. It is a punishable offense to get involved in any offensive conducts in any public place. In general cases, penalty can be $600 or 3 months imprisonment. Maximum penalty can be of 6 months. There must be an intention to make any offensive conduct. Therefore, intoxication can be a defense to an offensive conduct.

The evidence of bystanders can be relevant but it is not necessary. But sometimes getting a conviction without it may become difficult, even impossible in some cases. It even becomes heavier if any of the bystanders is found to be a cop.

Willful Obscene Exposure

Any kind of obscene exposure, for example to attempt to have sex in a public place will suffice to be charged for a willful obscene exposure. The penalty is $1000 fine or a 6 months’ imprisonment. But there can be the defense of making an reasonable and honest mistake.

Public Assemblies

To do public assemblies, one must appeal to the commissioner of police at least before 7 days of the assembly. If the police want to stop this demonstration, then they should appeal to the court before 7 days. Otherwise, the assemblers can appeal to the court.

When it is a riot and unlawful violence is present there, the maximum penalty is of 15 years’ imprisonment. But it is needed to be proved that each and every one of the accused persons showed unlawful violence.

If it is affray only, that means if the words and conducts are violent only, but no major harm could be done, in that case the maximum penalty will be of 10 years’ imprisonment.

(e) Trespass
Entering in personal or enclosed property without the consent of the owner is regarded as the offense of trespassing. The maximum penalty is $500 fine. But if there is a reasonable excuse, that can be a defense.

Property Damage

Severe damage to property is an offense. The penalty is of 5 years’ imprisonment. Penalty is doubled if the harm is done by fireworks. But the intent to damage must be proved. Damage need not to be permanent.


Prostitution act in public is punishable offense and carries a $1000 or 6 months’ imprisonment. Living by the income of a prostitute is also punishable and carries a $1000 or 12 months’ imprisonment. But there is still a common law of keeping brothel.

Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.

Ask a Question - It Is Free