Most criminal offences are charged under state legislation, most prominently the Criminal Code Act 1899 (Qld). However, there are some offences which are charged under commonwealth (or federal) legislation. Primarily, this is the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth).
Using a telecommunication service is a common example of a commonwealth offence. Telecommunication offences include harassment or menace. They also centre around using the internet to access or distribute child exploitation material. This is as well as importing prohibited substances or items into Australia and social security fraud and computer hacking.
These types of offences may, of course, be related to fraud offences, voyeurism offences, sexual offences, forgery offences, domestic violence offences and other a range of offences. However, their specific nature means they are treated as commonwealth criminal offences.
Commonwealth offences are dealt with pursuant to a completely different legislative framework. This affects the structure and even the type of sentences that are available to the courts. For example, whereas the non-recording of a conviction for offences under the state legislation is not unusual, the starting point under the commonwealth legislation is that a conviction will be recorded.
If you are implicated in a commonwealth criminal offence, you can contact our team of experienced criminal and defence lawyers in Brisbane today.
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