Public nuisance is described as a person behaving in a disorderly, offensive, threatening or violent manner that interferes with the peaceful enjoyment of a public area. There are numerous examples of behaviour that would be considered public nuisance, including:-
- using inappropriate or explicit language;
- threatening or disrupting a person or group;
- encouraging others to engage in a fight;
- being intoxicated and disturbing others;
- behaving in a manner that causes another to be intimidated or threatened.
The offence is broad in nature. You should seek legal advice if you have been charged with this offence.
Do I have to go to court if I have been charged with public nuisance?
Yes, you will be required to attend Court if you are charged with this offence. It is considered a ‘simple offence’, which means that your matter will be finalised in the Magistrates Court.
What is the penalty for public nuisance?
The maximum penalty is a fine of 10 penalty units, or a period of imprisonment of 6 months. The current value of a penalty unit is currently $130.55 (as of 1 July 2018). Therefore the maximum fine that is able to be imposed by the Court is $1,305.50.
You will also be required to pay the Offender Levy on conviction. You can find out more information regarding the Offender Levy here.
Will I go to jail?
The penalty will be reliant on the facts of your particular matter and your previous history. If you have prior criminal history, it is particularly important that you receive legal advice as to the penalty that is likely to be imposed by the Court.
What do I do if I get charged with public nuisance?
We recommend that you seek legal advice if you have been charged with this offence. Court can be stressful, and it is important that you receive legal advice before your matter proceeds.
Getting legal advice, and representation at Court, will ensure the Court understands any mitigating features in your favour. This can result in a lesser penalty being imposed. We are also able to seek (in some circumstances) that no conviction be recorded on your criminal history for the offence.