Criminal Offences in Australia

It is important for you to be familiar with the laws in Australia. If you break an Australian law that you did not know about, you could be charged, as not knowing the law is no excuse.

Some of the most serious crimes include murder, assault, sexual assault, violence against people or property, armed robbery or theft, having sexual relations with children or young people who are aged below the legal age of consent, dangerous driving of a motor car, possession of illegal drugs, and fraud.

Everyone has the right to experience positive and safe relationships with their families, friends and loved ones. As in other countries, violence towards another person is illegal in Australia and is a very serious crime. This includes violence within the home and within marriage, known as domestic or family violence. Domestic and family violence includes behaviour or threats that aim to control a partner by causing fear or threatening their safety. Domestic and family violence can include hitting, isolating a family member from friends and family, or threatening children or pets. Domestic and family violence is not accepted and is against the law.

A person who commits these crimes can go to jail, whether they are a man or a woman. No one should accept being treated badly or harmed.

If you or someone you know is in danger you should contact the police. More information is available at and

Traffic offences

Road and traffic rules are controlled by state and territory governments. People can be fined or sent to prison for breaking traffic laws. To drive a car in Australia, you must have a local driver’s licence and the car must be registered.

Everybody travelling in a car must wear a seatbelt. Babies and young children must be in an approved car seat. Traffic laws are very strict. It is illegal to drive after taking drugs or if you are above the blood alcohol limit. It is also against the law to use a hand-held mobile device while driving.

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Part 1 - Australia and its people

» Australia's states and territories
» Important days for Australians
» Australia's flags and symbols

Part 2 - Australia's democratic beliefs, rights and liberties

» Our democratic beliefs
» Our freedoms
» Our equalities
» Responsibilities and privileges of Australian citizenship
» Participating in Australian society

Part 3 - Government and the law in Australia

» How do I have my say?
» How did we establish our system of government?
» How is the power of government controlled?
» Who is Australia's Head of State?
» Who are some of Australia's leaders?
» How is Australia Governed?
» What do the three levels of government do?
» What role do political parties play in the way Australia is governed?
» How is the Australian Government formed?
» How are laws made?
» How are laws enforced?
» Criminal offences in Australia

Part 4 - Australian values

» Our values
» Our community

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