Do you know that putting feet on the train’s seat can make you pay fine? Also, having a puppy that isn’t registered is also an offense. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Especially if you are an Australian immigrant from the country where the laws and norms are completely different, none of these offenses makes sense. But these put you into a higher risk of getting warned/ punished for committing these offenses. Here are some minor offense in Australia along with its result.
If you are a driver with an international license, not locking your car is also an offense. Think before you smoke in the covered area of the train stations. And, zero alcohol content is blood is compulsory.
Tasting food while you go the market might be normal in many countries. But in Australia, it is basically shoplifting.
Wait. Here is something even more interesting. Playing loud music in your home/car (especially during early morning or late at night) is a punishable offense. So, the next time you plan to move your feet on loud party music, be aware that you might end in jail.
That’s not the end. A child not going to school is also an offense in Australia. Many parents don’t understand that children not going to school is a big issue. In such a case, the parent can be made responsible and might lead the family to get involved with the Department of Family and Department of Education.
What if you got caught?
If you admit committing the accused offense, the police might
- Take no action,
- Leave you with a caution
- Refer for a restorative justice process to Youth Justice Services
- Offer drug diversion
- Refer to Graffiti Removal Program.
In deciding the commitment of offense, the police shall consider the following.
- the severity offense committed
- previous criminal history
- Whether you received the benefit of diversionary option previously
If you are caught committing a minor offense, you are made to pay some fine (that ranges from a dollar to several thousand dollars). If you cannot afford to pay, you can also get support. Legal Aid of Australia has a work and development order that helps them to pay by engaging in community activities rather than in terms of money.
These are some of the sectors you might be working on:
- Working with children/ teacher’s aide/ working as a teacher
- Working with the Aged/ working in Aged Care/
- Hospital employment
- Firefighting/fire prevention
- Firearms permit applications
- Working in Immigration Detention Centre
- Government security clearances
- Some overseas employment
- Superannuation trustee
- Taxi/Bus driver accreditation
Note: The list above is not exhaustive. Any further exclusion may occur under the Commonwealth, State or Territory legislation.
Sad to inform, but some minor offenses might stay on your criminal record. You always need to be cautious.
If you get in any trouble, you should quickly get in touch with your local legal aid to receive any free legal advice you need. It’s just like going to a doctor when you get sick.