Summary Offences

In Australian criminal law, summary offences are less serious offences such as traffic offences and “petty crime”. These offences are tried by a magistrate or judge alone, without a jury. Summary offences encompass a wide rage of matters including, and not limited to:

  • Offences against the person; assault, breaching an intervention order, assaulting a police officer
  • Drug offences; possession of a prohibited drug for personal use, etc
  • Street offences; carrying an offensive weapon, cease to loiter, disorderly behaviour
  • Offences against property; property damage (< $2,500), trespassing, theft and receiving (<$2,500)


The maximum penalty that can be imposed for a summary offence is a fine of $120,000, a sentence of 2 years imprisonment or both. Some examples of specific offences are their penalties are listed below.

Offensive conduct: $600 fine or 3 months imprisonment

Offensive language: $600 fine or Community Service Work up to 100 hours

Obscene exposure: $1,000 fine or 6 months imprisonment

Continuation of intoxicated and disorderly behavior: $1,500 fine

Possessing or wielding a knife with intent to injure: $5,000 fine or 2 years imprisonment

Giving/selling knives to minors: $5,000 fine


If you have been charged with a summary offence, our experts can help. Contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our lawyers in our office.

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