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Areas of Practice

Summary Offences

If you are charged with a summary offence you will appear before a Magistrate in a Magistrates Court.  It is a Magistrate who decides if you are guilty of an offence and what penalty should be imposed.  Police prosecutors have conduct of summary offences. 

Have you been Charged with a summary offence?

Summary offences are less serious than indictable offences (serious offence where the defendant has the right of trial by jury)

What is the maximum penalty for a summary offence?

The maximum penalty that can be imposed for a summary offence is a $120,000 fine or 2 years imprisonment or both. (current as at August 2012)

Summary offences encompass a wide range of matters like:

  • Street offences: disorderly behaviour, cease to loiter, marking graffiti and carrying an offensive weapon.
  • Offences against the person: assault, assaulting a police officer, breaching an intervention order,
  • Offences against property: property damage (under $2,500), trespass, unlawful possession, theft and receiving (under $2,500). (figures current as at August 2012)
  • Drug offences: possess controlled drug for personal use, possess prescribed equipment and cultivate cannabis.

This list is not an exhaustive list but provides you with examples of the type of offences you may be charged with.