What constitutes offensive language?
The definition is open to interpretation by different magistrates.
Plead not guilty
In order to be convicted of this offence, the police must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- You use offensive language; and
- Within hearing from a school or public place.
If any of the above elements cannot be proven beyond reasonable doubt, then you will be found not guilty of the offence.
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.
Our experienced criminal lawyers will advise you of your prospects of successfully defending any charge brought against you and fight to have you found not guilty of the offence.
If you agree with what the police are alleging against you, the way to get the best result is often to plead guilty as it demonstrates remorse and contrition as well as meaning that you will be entitled to a discount on your sentence.
The maximum penalty for the offence using offensive language is a fine of $660. However, Using offensive language is an offence commonly dealt with pursuant to section 10 of the Crimes (Sentence Procedure) Act, meaning no conviction will be recorded, there is no other penalty and you will have no criminal record. To find out more about a section 10, click here.
Generally, penalties that a court can impose for any criminal offence in NSW are: