OFFENCE, crimes. The doing that which a penal law forbids to be done, or omitting to do what it commands; in this sense it is nearly synonymous with crime. (q.v.) In a more confined sense, it may be considered as having the same meaning with misdemeanor, (q.v.) but it differs from it in this, that it is not indictable, but punishable summarily by the forfeiture of a penalty. 1 Chit. Prac. 14.