Public Nuisance Offences

Have you been charged with the criminal law offence of being a public nuisance? It's important to seek legal advice from an experienced lawyer as soon as possible. Learn more about this offence below.

6 Public Nuisance (Summary Offences Act Queensland)

(1) A person must not commit a public nuisance offence. Maximum penalty:

(a) if the person commits a public nuisance offence within licensed premises, or in the vicinity of licensed premises—25 penalty units or 6 months imprisonment; or 
(b) otherwise—10 penalty units or 6 months imprisonment.

A person commits a public nuisance offence if they behave in a way which is disorderly, offensive, threatening or violent. Your behaviour may be classified as ‘offensive’ if you use indecent, obscene or abusive language. You can also be charged with this offence if your behaviour interferes with another person’s peaceful enjoyment of a public place.

The penalty for this charge increases if the offence is committed in licensed premises or in the vicinity of licenced premises. While the term of imprisonment is still 6 months, the fine increases to $3,153.00. Public Nuisance charges are usually dealt with in the Magistrates Court, or can be referred to justice mediation for an alternative dispute resolution.

In Queensland, if a person is convicted of a Public Nuisance offence, then the court could impose one of the following penalties:

  • Jail (suspended, parole or actual time);
  • Probation;
  • Community Service;
  • Bonds;
  • Fines.

The actual penalty will depend on the circumstances of the matter including the seriousness of the offence and the individual circumstances and background of the Defendant.

Are there any defences available to this charge?

Yes. The facts of your case will determine which defences will be available for you. The following defences may be available to you:

  • The behaviour was not disorderly, offensive, threatening or violent;
  • The behaviour did not or was not likely to interfere with another person’s peaceful enjoyment of a public place;
  • The accused was not using offensive, obscene, indecent or abusive language.

What should I do if the police want to speak to me about a public nuisance allegation or if I am charged with a public nuisance offence?

You have the right to remain silent. You DO have to provide the police with your name, date of birth and contact details. You should NOT answer any questions, make any statement or participate in any interview with the police. You should be polite to the officer but insist that you want to talk to your lawyer. You have the right to telephone a friend, relative or lawyer.

Call an Expert

If you are charged with a criminal offence, it is very important that you seek immediate legal advice. Our team at Brooke Winter Solicitors can give you over the phone advice. We have a solid reputation as expert Criminal Lawyers and can represent you in court.

Call us on 1300 066 669 if you have any questions. We can assist you no matter where you are located and can appear in every court.

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