Getting in trouble with the law is obviously a bad idea. As they say, ignorance of the law is not an excuse. If you want to be an upstanding citizen in Australia, then you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the common criminal offences that you can get yourself into. Here are some of the laws that are easy to break but are completely avoidable.
- Drug Possession
This is the law that pertains to the use, possession, and cultivation of illicit drugs. These include drugs like heroin, cocaine, amphetamines, marijuana, and ecstasy. The penalties for using and possessing small amounts of drugs are dealt with less severely as compared to cultivating them.
In general, you are looking at 5-25 years in jail for crimes related to drugs. When being given the verdict, the court will look at various aspects related to the crime such as the number of drugs that you have, whether or not you have an addiction, and whether or not you’ve been caught with the same crime before.
- Theft And Property Damage
These are offences related to property damage. Theft of course pertains to stealing the property of another person. In theft, you can also be eligible for the offence by handling stolen goods, receiving stolen goods, obtaining goods by deception, and going to a property equipped with the goods to steal.
Property damage refers to the act or even the intent of destroying the property of another person. In this case, ‘property’ refers to things owned by the person including material objects, and even pets as well.
- Underage Drinking
No one under the age of 18 is permitted to purchase or drink alcoholic beverages. Furthermore, people selling alcoholic beverages to minors are also eligible for a criminal offence. That’s why stores will ask buyers for their ID if they look they’re under the legal drinking age.
As minors cannot be given jail time, the punishment for underage drinking is 60 penalty units. On the other hand, vendors that sell beverages to minors are going to be given 10 penalty units only.
- Violent Behaviour
Violent behaviour is a very serious crime. This pertains to any actions that cause injuries to other people which can include cuts or bruise. Common charges related to this offence include sexual assault, affray, unlawful assault, homicide, and robbery as well.
You don’t need to physically harm someone to be charged with assault. If they feel threatened by your actions or words, you can still be charged with violent behaviour. The extent of the penalty is dependent on many factors such as the severity of the injuries to the victim.
According to legal experts from Smith Criminal Law, the penalties for any cases pertaining to violent behaviour is punished heavily. Aside from penalty points and fines, you’ll also be imprisoned.
- Possession Of Weapons
Carrying guns and other tools deemed as weapons by the law is illegal. For guns, you aren’t allowed to buy one if you are under the age of 18. If you are of age, you’ll have to get a license to own and buy a firearm. If you’re bringing your firearm with you, you must have your license as well.
The police can also hold you accountable for the crime if you are carrying knives, box cutters, swiss army knives, and other potentially dangerous tools. The only exemption to this is if you are able to prove that you are carrying these tools for work purposes.
If the police deem it necessary to inspect you and your car for any weapons, they are allowed to do so. This can be a warrantless search.
6. Graffitti Laws
This refers to illegally making graffit on property that’s not of your ownership. Graffiti can include defacing, writing, drawing, and writing on property in a way that it cannot be simply cleaned. You can be exempt from the law if the owner of the property has given you permission to do as you please with the space.
Penalties for breaking graffiti laws include large fines and imprisonment. Your penalty can become more serious if the graffiti you made would be deemed offensive to a specific person or a group of people.
7. Arson, Fireworks, And Fires
Starting fires, even by accident is deemed punishable by law. Fires can cause damage to property, and it can even start damaging bushfires. In worst cases, fires can lead to death as well. Being safe around possible sources of fire is a must so that you and others around you don’t incur the risk of getting hurt.
Arson – or the act of deliberately causing a fire has a penalty of up to 25 years in prison.
8. Bribery, Contempt Of Law, Perjury
These are criminal offences which can be considered as cries against justice itself. These includes acts you take against the legal system and the police.
The most common example if bribery. Let’s say you get a speeding ticket but instead of taking the penalties, you offer a bride to the police to let you go. This is a case of bribery which can be placed on you. Other cases related to this include contempt of court and making false statements while under oath.
9. Dog-Related Offences
You’ll always be reminded to be responsible for your dogs. There are criminal offences related to them as well. The most common are if your dog bites a person or an animal and injures them.
Keep in mind that you’re also going to need to have your dog registered. If they are caught outside and you don’t have any papers to show, they might be taken to the pound, and you can be faced with criminal charges too.
These are just some of the laws that you can get in trouble within Australia. If you feel as if you’re held accountable for a crime that you haven’t committed, make sure to seek legal help immediately. False accusations are a possibility, but you will always be allowed to defend yourself.
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