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Offensive Language

Public Order Offences – NSW

Welcome to the NSW Offensive language article page. Everything you need to know about Offensive language according to NSW law – Dated: 01/09/2009

What the Law States according to NSW Law for Offensive language

According to NSW Law for the charge of Offensive language,

On the police facts sheet and the court attendance notice that you may have received you will have a reference to the law part and a short description of offence. These references help the court and the legal profession to identify the exact offence you have been charged with. The law part and short description for this offence are set out in the table below:

Law Part Short Description
1246 Use offensive language in/near public place/school

The Maximum Penalty – Offensive language

According to NSW Law for the charge of Offensive language:

The maximum penalty for the charge of offensive language (Section 4A of the Summary Offences Act) is a fine of 6 penalty units or 100 hours community service.

In NSW, a court can impose any of the following penalties for an offensive language charge.

  • Section 10: Offensive language proven but dismissed
  • Fine
  • Good behaviour bond
  • Community service order (CSO)

You’ll find a brief description of each of these penalties at the bottom of this page.

Likely Penalty

Local Court

Based on our experience and statistics from the Judicial Commission of New South Wales we believe that the penalty in a case that is within the mid range of seriousness for the offence of offensive language, if heard in the Local Court, is likely to be a fine of $200.

What the Police must prove according to NSW Law for Offensive language

To convict you of an offensive language charge, the police must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. You used offensive language.
  2. At the time, you were in or near, or within hearing from, a public place or a school.

They will also need to prove that you were the person who committed the offensive language offence.

Possible Defences under NSW Law – Offensive language

Possible defences to an Offensive language charge include but are not limited to:

  • Duress
  • Necessity
  • Self Defence

In NSW which court will hear the matter – Offensive language

This matter is a summary matter and can only be finalised in the Local Court.

Section 10 for an Offensive language charge: avoiding a criminal record. Normally, when you plead guilty to a criminal offence, the court imposes a penalty and records a conviction. If the court records a conviction, you will have a criminal record. However, if we can convince the court not to convict you, there will be no penalty of any type and no criminal record. In all criminal cases, the court has the discretion not to convict you, but to give you a Section 10 dismissal instead.

Fines for an Offensive language charge: When deciding the amount of a fine for a possession of data with intent charge the magistrate or judge should consider your financial situation and your ability to pay any fine they set.

Good behaviour bond for an Offensive language charge: This is an order of the court that requires you to be of good behaviour for a specified period of time. The court will impose conditions that you will have to obey during the term of the good behaviour bond. The maximum duration of a good behaviour bond is five years.

Community service order for an Offensive language charge (CSO): This involves either unpaid work in the community at a place specified by probation and parole or attendance at a centre to undertake a course, such as anger management. In order to be eligible for a CSO you have to be assessed by an officer of the probation service as suitable to undertake the order.

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