If you have been charged with an offence classified as behaviour or actions in public that are contrary to the law, you should seek legal counsel. Generally, this wrongdoing encompasses any manner of conduct that is deemed to disturb peace. This type of criminal offence can attract fines and imprisonment sentences, depending on the exact nature of the actions. You should understand the different legal issues that pertain to your alleged crime. This will help you understand your rights and create a good defence for court.
What are Public Places?
The primary issue that must be confirmed in establishing your unlawful public behaviour is your presence in a legally recognised public place. In concise terms, any place where members of the general public are permitted to be is a public place. This includes thoroughfares like roads and footpaths, public transportation and recreational grounds like parks. Places of entertainment, worship, sports grounds and licensed premises are also in this category, even though they may be privately owned.
Role of the Police
You should understand the police role in the case of unlawful public behaviour. This information is crucial in determining how to handle the situation after contact with the law keepers. Generally, if the police suspect anyone of disturbing peace, they will ask them to move for a specified time period. If this is relevant in your case, you cannot take action against the police, since this is legal procedure. If you failed to move and were found within the same area, you will be fined up to fifteen penalty points. However, in the proceedings, there should be evidence that the time period between when you were told to move and the time you were found violates the given warning.
Summary offences in the disturbance of public peace are not very grave, so they can be settled by paying the fines issued by the police. Alternatively, they can be heard in the Magistrate's court. The unlawful public behaviours included in this category are protests and demonstrations, illegal fireworks, public drunkenness, begging, racial vilification and littering. For more details about what's considered unlawful public behaviours, consider looking into your state's legal guidelines. For example, for Victoria, most public order offences are outlined in the Summary Offences Act 1996.
Intent to Commit Indictable Offences
An indictable offence is a serious felony and can either be heard by the judge and jury or in the Magistrate's court. If you are a former offender charged with thievery or drug-related crimes, the penalty imposed can be serious. However, the police must proof satisfactorily that your presence in the public place was related to an indictable offence.
If you find yourself charged with unlawful public behaviour, consider contacting a local lawyer to discuss your case.