The word ‘petty’ refers to small or unimportant incidents. In the world of law, petty offences mean offences of trivial nature.
When an offence is considered a petty offence, the accused may not come to court. There may not be any hearing as well as no evidence is required.
The most considerable factor for a petty offence is that the accused may plead guilty through a messenger, advocate or letter sent through registered post.
The following offences can be classified as petty offences:
i) When the alleged offence is punishable only with fine not exceeding one thousand rupees.
ii) Where the alleged offence is punishable for a term not exceeding three months.
iii) Where the offence is compoundable under Section 320 and declared by the state government to be a petty offence.