3 Types of Criminal Offences

Criminal Lawyers are kept busy dealing with all kinds of crime, but these all fall under one of three categories. This is important because the type of crime committed depends on which sort of court the person will be tried under a magistrate’s court or the Supreme Court.

Based on the legal advice provided by the criminal lawyers at Culshaw Miller, here are 3 types of criminal offences:

Summary or simple offences. These make up the majority of common offences and are defined as

  • They have no term or imprisonment but a fine of less than $120,000.
  • Having a maximum term of 2 years imprisonment
  • Most dishonesty offences of $2500 or less, not including robbery, violence or serial offences, or offences of more than $2500
  • Not including arson or bushfire offences

Examples are disorderly conduct, minor criminal damage to property, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. People charged with a summary offence must be tried in a magistrate’s court. They cannot be tested with the jury.

Minor indictable offences. These are more serious than summary offences but less severe than major indictable offences. They, too, are tried in a magistrate’s court, but the defendant can ask to have them tried in a higher court with a jury. They should only do so after taking counsel from a lawyer, as they could easily be given a harsher sentence. Examples of these offences are: –

  • Theft
  • Deception
  • Serious criminal trespass
  • Aggravated and indecent assault
  • Stalking
  • Gross indecency
  • Property damage less than $30,000