summary offence

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Related to summary offences: Summary conviction, Summary offense

summary offence

an offence which is charged in a summary court and which accordingly attracts a lesser sentence. The summary court will not have a jury. In the UK such courts are found in the Magistrates Court and the Sheriff Court. See INDICTABLE OFFENCE.
References in periodicals archive ?
In 1979, the Summary Offences Act 1970 (NSW) was repealed as part of a new Labor government commitment to updating New South Wales public order laws, and removing public behaviour that did insufficient harm to warrant criminalisation from the reach of the criminal law and the police.
Although it is clear enough that section 133 should be read as incorporating the procedures governing the prosecution of summary offences in the Code, it strains the provision to construe it as incorporating the substantive law of sentencing, criminal defences, and police investigatory powers.
It is popular with magistrates and often used for summary offences. As a result, the suspended sentence order may be a route to prison for some offenders.
He said: "The report makes a number of small suggestions in respect of changes in this area, including in respect of powers of search, the prohibition of swords and providing summary offences be tried on indictment.
"PCSOs issue fixed penalties for a range of summary offences, including anti-social behaviour and other quality of life issues such as litter dropping, cycling on footpaths and offences contrary to dog control orders," she said.
All sorts of crime flourished with summary offences ranging from 12 months breaking rocks to the rope for murder.
The sole arbitrator of a defendant's fate would rest in the hands of three magistrate judges, who may have no legal background,(9) but can sentence defendants up to six months in prison and a 5,000 [pounds sterling] fine.(10) In contrast, a legally trained judge in Crown Court regulates a case before a jury.(11) Professionalism comes at a price, however; as a case going through the Crown Courts can cost the government 3,100 [pounds sterling], whereas a case directed to magistrates' court can cost a mere 295 [pounds sterling].(12) The number of TEW cases as well as the summary offences rose last year by 1.8%.(13)
The law in Victoria permits police to use reasonable force to arrest people committing summary offences, like blocking driveways or `besetting' premises.
For less serious summary offences the DNA profile is accessible for a three year period.
ACTs Freedom to Speak Bill will repeal parts of the Human Rights Act and the Summary Offences Act which make insulting and offensive speech unlawful.
(11) Our determination to making a contribution to filling this void forms part of a wider research agenda that investigates the operation of 'low-level' regulatory powers that are deployed to manage the propriety of behaviour in public spaces: see Julia Quilter and Luke McNamara, 'Time to Define "the Cornerstone of Public Order Legislation": The Elements of Offensive Conduct and Language under the Summary Offences Act 1988 (NSW)' (2013) 36 University of New South Wales Law Journal 534; Luke McNamara and Julia Quilter, 'Public Intoxication in NSW: The Contours of Criminalisation' (2015) 37 Sydney Law Review 1.
This rule applies to summary offences including common assault.

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