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Section 4 Summary Offences Act 1988
Offensive Conduct

Section 4 of the Summary Offences Act 1988 (NSW) is the criminal offence of Offensive Conduct and is stated below.

If you would like an experienced criminal lawyer to help you achieve an outstanding outcome in your Summary Offences Act case, call Sydney Criminal Lawyers® today on (02) 9261 8881 for a free first appointment.

We have a proven track record in representing clients in Summary Offences Act cases and ensuring that you don’t get a criminal record or harsh punishment.

The Legislation

4 Offensive conduct

(1) A person must not conduct himself or herself in an offensive manner in or near, or within view or hearing from, a public place or a school. Maximum penalty: 6 penalty units or imprisonment for 3 months.

(2) A person does not conduct himself or herself in an offensive manner as referred to in subsection (1) merely by using offensive language.

(3) 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.

Why Choose Sydney Criminal Lawyers®?

Going to court can be nerve-racking, but having a strong and compassionate legal team behind you can make the experience significantly easier to deal with. Here are 12 reasons to choose our multi-award winning legal team:

  1. Proven Track Record of Exceptional Results

    Sydney Criminal Lawyers® consistently achieves outcomes which are in the highest percentile of the Judicial Commission’s sentencing statistics for criminal cases.

    Our legal team devises effective case-strategies and fights hard to have cases dropped entirely or charges downgraded – saving clients the time, expense and stress of a defended hearing or jury trial.

    Where cases nevertheless proceed, our lawyers have an outstanding track record of winning defended Local Court hearings, and complex jury trials in the District and Supreme Courts.

    We also consistently win appeals in the District and Supreme Courts (including the NSWCCA) after clients have received unsatisfactory results with other law firms in the lower courts.We are one of the few firms to achieve successful criminal law appeals in the High Court of Australia.

    Where our clients wish to plead guilty, we frequently achieve ‘dismissals’ and ‘non convictions’ in cases where other lawyers have advised there is no chance of doing so.

  2. Highest Level of Client Satisfaction

    We have the best and most comprehensive client review record of any law firm in Australia.

    Regular communication, accessibility and quality service are our team’s highest priorities.

    We are committed to thoroughly explaining all steps involved in the criminal law process, providing regular updates throughout the proceedings, and making ourselves accessible and responsive.

    We are passionate about providing an exceptional level of service to our clients, and we fight hard to achieve optimal results in the shortest period of time.

  3. Australia’s Most Awarded Criminal Law Firm

    We have received more awards and accolades than any other criminal law firm in Australia. Our team has been awarded “Criminal Defence Firm of the Year in Australia” in a number of prestigious and competitive awards programs for several years running.

    The awards recognise our exceptional track record of results, our outstanding client service, the high level of satisfaction we achieve, the affordability of our services and our overall excellence.

  4. Fixed Fees

    We want our clients to know exactly how much their cases will cost from the very start. That’s why we were the first criminal law firm in Australia to publish ‘fixed fees’, back in 2004.

    We offer fixed fees for most types of criminal cases and services.Our fixed fees apply to a range of Local Court cases such as drink driving, drug possession, fraud, common assault and AVOs, and also specific services such as prison visits, bail applications, appeals and defended hearings.

    Unlike many other law firms, our fixed fees are published on our website – which ensures transparency and certainty.

  5. Free First Appointment

    For those who are going to court, we offer a free first conference of up to an hour with one of our Senior Criminal Defence Lawyers.

    We also offer a free first conference to those who have received an unsatisfactory result after being represented in court by another law firm, or after representing themselves, and wish to appeal.

  6. Specialist Lawyer Guarantee

    We guarantee that only lawyers with substantial criminal defence experience will work on your case and appear for you in court.

    This ensures our clients receive the highest quality representation from an experienced, specialist criminal lawyer.

  7. All NSW Courts

    From Bombala to Broken Hill, our lawyers appear in courts throughout New South Wales – and across Australia for Commonwealth cases.

    And we offer fixed fees for most criminal and traffic law cases throughout the state.

  8. Accredited Specialists

    Our entire firm is exclusively dedicated to criminal law – which makes us true specialists.

    All of our lawyers have years of experience representing clients in criminal cases, and our principal has been certified by the Law Society of NSW as an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist since 2005.

    An ‘Accredited Specialist’ is a lawyer who has practised for at least 5 years in a particular field of law (such as criminal law), has passed a rigorous assessment process conducted by the Law Society of NSW, and has been selected by the Specialist Accreditation Committee of the Law Society as an expert in the field.

    Accredited Specialists are required to undertake more training each year than other lawyers and must be successful in having their accreditation renewed every year. Specialist Accreditation is the mark of a true specialist.

    Our firm’s specialist experience ensures you receive the best possible result, whatever your criminal law case may be.

  9. Results-Focused Law Firm

    Our team is passionate about achieving results, and unlike many other law firms, our lawyers do not have monthly financial ‘budgets’ to meet.

    The absence of budgets means our lawyers are entirely focused on achieving optimal results in the shortest space of time; whether by getting charges dropped or downgraded at an early stage or having cases ‘thrown out of court’.

    Not having budgets also means our lawyers are not under pressure to engage in unscrupulous practices such as unnecessarily adjourning cases or ‘overcharging’ clients – which, sadly, is a common complaint against many other lawyers and law firms.

    No budgets encourages regular consultation between lawyers within the firm – promoting an ‘open door’, team environment where lawyers bounce ideas off one another, formulate case strategy together and benefit from each other’s specialised experience, methods, techniques and insights.

    The result is a firm which delivers optimal outcomes in the shortest time periods, at the least expense and stress to our clients.

  10. Team of Lawyers Behind You

    Our clients benefit from the pool of knowledge that only an extensive team of experienced criminal defence lawyers can provide.

    Our lawyers regularly consult one another to stay ‘ahead of the pack’ in the ever-changing field of criminal law – constantly devising, refining and implementing specialised techniques which ensure our clients achieve the best possible outcomes.

    A team approach is particularly important when it comes to serious criminal cases such as murder, commercial drug cases, serious and sexual assaults, large-scale fraud, robbery and other ‘indictable’ cases.

    In such matters, clients reap the benefits of several lawyers devising and executing case strategies which maximise the chances of having cases dropped or downgraded at an early stage, or ‘thrown out of court’ – often saving clients a great deal of cost, time and anxiety.

  11. Familiar with Magistrates and Judges

    Each of our lawyers appears in court on a daily basis, and has done so for years. We have therefore been able to develop an understanding of, and rapport with, magistrates and judges in Sydney and indeed across the state.

    Our team’s extensive experience before the courts ensures your case is tailored to the specific nuances of individual judicial officers, maximising the likelihood of a favourable result.

  12. Convenience

    We have offices in locations across the Sydney Metropolitan Area and beyond, including:

    • the Sydney CBD, on Castlereagh Street, directly opposite Downing Centre Court,
    • Liverpool, directly opposite Liverpool Local Court, and
    • Parramatta, near the justice precinct.

    We offer free parking at our Sydney CBD and Liverpool locations, and all of our offices are close to train stations and bus terminals.

    For those who are unable to attend our offices, we offer conferences by telephone, Skye and FaceTime anywhere around the world.

    If you are going to court and wish to arrange a free first consultation, call our 24 hour hotline on (02) 9261 8881 or send us an email at info@sydneycriminallawyers.com.au.


Recent Cases

No Conviction for Resist Officer, Behave in Offensive Manner and Remain in Premises

Our client is a 36-year-old sales executive from Sydney’s Lower North Shore. He had been drinking at a bar in Oxford Street following a work Christmas party. He left and then attempted to re-enter the premises, but was denied entry by security staff due to his level of intoxication. The guards alleged that he then became aggressive and attempted to force his way into the premises. They called police, who attended the bar and observed our client struggling with staff. Police say that they heard our client using offensive language, and they took hold of his arm so that they could speak to him about his behaviour. Our client struggled with police and allegedly continued using offensive language. He was taken back to the police station where he was charged with five offences: “use offensive language in public place”, “excluded person remain in vicinity of licensed premises”, “assault police officer in execution of duty”, “behave in offensive manner” and “resist officer in execution of duty”. Our lawyers engaged in extensive charge negotiations with police and were able to have the charges of “assault officer in execution of duty” and “use offensive language in a public place” withdrawn. Pleas of guilty were entered to the remaining charges, and compelling sentencing submissions were made to the court highlighting our client’s remorse, good character and the effect that a criminal record might have had on his current job and future employment prospects. The Magistrate was ultimately persuaded to award him a ‘section 10’, which means that he avoids a criminal conviction altogether.

Dismissal for Assaulting Police

The Magistrate in Downing Centre Local Court granted section 10(1)(a) dismissals to our 27 year old client who was charged with 'assaulting police', 'resisting arrest', 'offensive conduct' and 'continuing intoxicated behaviour after move-on direction'.

The charges arose from an incident at Bayswater Road, Potts Point when our intoxicated client was swearing loudly at her partner and aggressively pursuing him along the footpath.

Police saw the incident and intervened. Our client then allegedly struck out at police, swore at them repeatedly, attempted to bite an officer's hand and physically resisted their repeated attempts to arrest and calm her down.

Sydney Criminal Lawyers® convinced police to withdraw the 'assault police' and 'continue intoxicated behaviour' charges.

Our client then pleaded guilty to 'resisting arrest' and 'offensive' conduct, and the Magistrate was persuaded to grant her 'section 10(1)(a) dismissals' - which means that she avoids a criminal conviction.

No Conviction for Assault Police x 2; Resist Police and Offensive Conduct

Sydney Criminal Lawyers® obtained a section 10 (no criminal conviction) for our 34 year old Peruvian client who kicked, punched and scratched police near King Street Wharf, Sydney causing abrasions and scratching.

Police intervened in an argument between our client and a taxi driver before the incident occurred.

Our client is relieved to remain conviction-free because she intends to apply for permanent residency.

Going to Court? Call For Your Free First Appointment

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