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  • 09 Criminal Offences, Penalties and Sentences
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In this chapter Expand current chapter list below

Criminal Offences, Penalties and Sentences


In this section, you will find information on some of the main areas of criminal law; police process of search, arrest, what happens after arrest as well as information on some of the main areas of criminal law.


Search and Arrest

What are the powers of arrest, search and interrogation by police and other officials? What is an individual’s rights in these circumstances? Does a police officer need a warrant? This chapter explores the powers and duties of police and the rights of a person in contact with police as well as what happens when a person is arrested.

After Arrest

What happens after a person is arrested? This chapter explains the process post-arrest and details the types of action that a police officer can take (interview, questioning, statement and laying charges) and cannot take (involuntary confessions, malicious prosecution). Also considered is different types of bail and factors relevant to determining bail and bail conditions.

Offences under the Police Offences Act and the Criminal Code

This chapter considers the difference between minor and serious offences as well as particular charges that can be laid (from property offences, computer crimes and public offences).

Drug Offences

This chapter provides details on the law governing drug offences in Tasmania, as well as detailing specifics of offences/crimes that can be committed (e.g. possession and trafficking, importing and exporting) as well as the penalties that apply if a person pleads guilty or is found guilty.

Sexual Offences

This chapter explains crime of rape and the meaning of consent as well as related crimes (sexual intercourse with a young person, aggravated sexual assault and other sexual offences). Court procedure, protections for a victim of sexual assault as well as other factors affecting sexual offences are also discussed.

The Firearms Act 1996

This chapter details particular firearms offences, the powers police are given to enforce the Firearms Act and the rules surrounding storing, licensing and the prohibition of weapons.

Family Violence

This chapter details what family violence is, the process of a family violence matter from the first attendance of police through prosecutions, the court process, protection and resources for victims and affected children, penalties and services available to victims and offenders.

Traffic and Parking Offences

This chapter explains a number of areas involving using a motor vehicle; from the different categories of offences to how the offences are dealt with (infringement notices, demerit points, licence suspension and imprisonment). Other areas covered include: court process, parking offences, the use of substances and more serious offences, such as, reckless driving or causing death by dangerous driving.

Youth Justice

This chapter explains how criminal laws apply to young people interacting with the criminal justice system through outlining the way the Youth Justice Act 2004 applies to particular offences. This chapter also describes the process of the criminal justice system when a youth has been intercepted or charged with an offence (arrest, bail and the court’s approach, community conferencing and sentencing).

Victims of Crime

The details of compensation for victims, including what needs to be proved and the amount potentially to be paid to a victim of crime is found in this chapter.


This chapter explains what a sentence is, the source of sentencing law, the process of sentencing as well as the purpose and relevant considerations for the court in sentencing an offender. Different types of sentences are detailed (e.g. imprisonment, drug treatment orders and community service orders) and the particular laws applying to youths are discussed. The median (or average) sentence imposed for a number of offences is also provided.

Prison and Prisoners

What is the impact of a criminal conviction and what does a criminal record mean for an offender? This chapter explores the effect of a criminal conviction, the classification of prisoners and people in custody, the process and reality of going to jail, the structure of prison and rights of the prisoner, available facilities and discipline in prison. A number of other areas are also discussed, such as; visitors, parole, and leave permits.

Page last updated 19/11/2018

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