“Commonwealth crimes are crimes that fall within the lawmaking responsibilities of the Australian government (sometimes called the Federal government). State and Territory crimes are crimes that fall within the lawmaking responsibilities of State and Territory governments.” AFP
Commonwealth Criminal Offences
Representing Commonwealth and State Offences
Porter Scudds represents individuals in both Commonwealth offences and State offences.
Criminal Charges are usually dealt with under the laws of the state where the offence take place. Where an offence is allegedly committed in Western Australia, it will be dealt with by the acts and case law in Western Australia.
Where an offence is committed outside the jurisdiction of Western Australia or is committed across state borders, the offence might be dealt with under Commonwealth Law, or put another way, under Australian Federal Law.
Some examples of this include a drug importation offence committed off the coast of Western Australia in National Waters/Seas or drugs arriving by overseas courier or by post. There is a Commonwealth offence for the importation of a commercial quantity of border controlled drug such as methamphetamine, cocaine or MDMA (contrary to section 307.1 of the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth).
Other examples of Commonwealth crimes include airport or aviation crimes, child sex offences by Australians abroad, cybercrime, people smuggling, human trafficking, online child exploitation, terrorism, fraud against the Commonwealth Government, theft from the Commonwealth Government and assault on a Commonwealth official.
How serious are Commonwealth offences?
Commonwealth offences, like all offences, are very serious, and a conviction has lasting implications. They carry with them the same implications as any state offence. Penalties are found in the Federal Crimes Act.
Where are Commonwealth matters heard?
In Commonwealth matters, depending on the charge, your matter will usually be dealt with in the State Supreme Court, District Court or Magistrates Court.