Section 4A Summary Offences Act – Offensive Language

The Legislation

Section 4A of the Summary Offences Act 1998 (NSW) is the criminal offence of Offensive language and is stated below.

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4A Offensive language

(1) A person must not use offensive language in or near, or within hearing from, a public place or a school. Maximum penalty: 6 penalty units.

(2) It is a sufficient defence to a prosecution for an offence under this section if the defendant satisfies the court that the defendant had a reasonable excuse for conducting himself or herself in the manner alleged in the information for the offence.

(3) Instead of imposing a fine on a person, the court:
(a) may make an order under section 8 (1) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 directing the person to perform community service work, or
(b) may make an order under section 5 (1) of the Children (Community Service Orders) Act 1987 requiring the person to perform community service work,
as the case requires.

(4), (5) (Repealed)

(6) However, the maximum number of hours of community service work that a person may be required to perform under an order in respect of an offence under this section is 100 hours.