Offender Levy

For all people sentenced in Queensland Supreme, District or Magistrates Courts, an offender levy fee is a mandatory payment.

It is an administrative fee that helps to pay for law enforcement and administration costs.

For matters in the Magistrates Court, a sentenced person is currently charged a fee of $123.00.

For matters in the Supreme or Magistrates Court, a sentenced person is currently charged a fee of $368.90.

This fee can either be paid upfront at the Registry, or will be deferred to SPER. If this is the case, SPER will send you an enforcement order with details of how and when to pay. If payment is not made in the given time, SPER has the power to take enforcement action upon you.

Please note that the exact levy fee is liable to change and this page is current as of 16 October 2018.

 

 

Shutdown of Southern Queensland Correctional Centre

Southern Queensland Correctional Centre has now shut down. It is being renovated and is to reopen as a second Women’s prison in early 2019.
Accordingly the majority of the inmates have been transferred to Borallon Training and Correctional Centre, just 15 minutes outside of Ipswich.

[Read more…]

Proposed New Legislation Restricting and Monitoring Convicted Sex Offenders

The Palaszczuk Government have taken to parliament to impose further strict conditions and monitoring on child sex offenders.

This week, Queensland Parliament will be evaluating the change to legislation that: [Read more…]

Mongrel Mob to be outlawed in Queensland

It is expected that New Zealand’s, Mongrel Mob, will be declared an ‘identified organisation’, under the Serious and Organised Crime Legislation Amendment Act 2016

The declaration comes following purported intelligence gathered by the Police Commissioner advising that there is evidence of Mongrel Mob activity in Queensland. The power to declare the gang an identified organisation is an unfettered discretion of the executive branch and is not the subject of any judicial scrutiny. [Read more…]

Southport Office Opening

Gatenby Criminal Lawyers has opened new offices in Southport.

Our offices are located in the Southport Central office towers opposite Australia Fair Shopping Centre.
Suite 2102 Level 1
Southport Central (Commercial Tower 2) 
5 Lawson Street
Southport
The entry to the Tower 2 lifts is located opposite the Southport RSL.
There are three hours of free parking under the building (entry via Lawson Street), we recommend you park in the orange B1 carpark and can use the lift to level 1.
Our office phone number remains the same (55800 120) and please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Schoolies week legal issues can impact your future.

Dancing, drinkingIt is that time of year again when school leavers get the chance to celebrate their graduation at the annual ‘Schoolies’ festival. Although we are hopeful that it is a week of fun, laughter and celebration we understand that there may be some schoolies that face legal issues.  Some schoolies week legal issues can have a real and significant impact on your future.

With a number of arrests already made over the first part of the week, we are here to provide advice on your rights and possible outcomes of common legal issues you may face.

Common ‘on the spot fine’ Offences

We understand that many schoolies are under 18 years of age however under Queensland Law you are still considered to be an adult and will be treated the same by the courts.

If you are under 18, albeit the temptation, it is illegal to use or make a fake ID’s. Large monetary fines will be issued on the spot and your ID will be confiscated. These include but not limited to:

  • Using a fake ID – $378.00;
  • Lending your ID to a friend – $630.00.

We all know alcohol plays the main role at schoolies and the majority of the festival are on the streets and beach. These areas are categorised as a public place by law. If you are caught drinking alcohol in a public place you will be issued with an on the spot fine of $126.00. This fine will be increased if you are under the age of 18 to $378.00. Please be wary this will include holding a drink for your friend.

We advise you to consume all alcohol within your apartments or licenced venues.

Serious Criminal Offences

On a more serious note and circumstances where you can be brought before the Court are for drug-related offences. Common offences include:

  1. Possessing a dangerous drug (eg. cannabis, MDMA, ecstasy pills, methyl amphetamine);
  2. Supplying a dangerous drug;
  3. Possession of utensils used for consuming illicit drugs (eg. Pipes, bongs, needles and grinders).

These are serious criminal offences and can range in penalties from fines to imprisonment. Engaging a solicitor who is familiar with this area of law and an experienced advocate on these Magistrates Court matters will enable you to receive a sentence far less serious than if you were to appear self-represented.

More importantly, given schoolies are only 17 and 18 years of age, the effects of a criminal conviction can be extremely detrimental. A criminal conviction may be recorded in relation to any matter before the court. The Magistrate has a discretion whether to record a conviction after hearing submissions by both the Prosecution and the Defence. It is vital to have an advocate on your side to elaborate on any mitigating factors and target the key issues to the Magistrate.

Recording a conviction can affect:

  1. Employment opportunities;
  2. Travel arrangements; and
  3. The ability to obtain various licences (blue card etc.).

Don’t let a mistake ruin your life, we are here to support you every step of the way.

Your rights

The starting point is that you have the right to remain silent regardless of whether you have been placed under arrest or not.

Remember:

  1. If the Police approach you on the street or during the beach party, you do need to provide them with your name and your address. If you do not comply with this direction you may be breaking the law;
  2. The Police must have a ‘reasonable suspicion’ that you’re breaking the law, have broken the law, or are about to break the law before placing you under arrest or detaining you for the purpose of a search. You are not required to provide your phone or passcodes unless they have a warrant;
  3. You are not required to attend the Police Station unless you are under arrest;
  4. You should never participate in a Police interview unless you have contacted your lawyer or family/friend. We advise strongly to contact your lawyer or family/friend once arrested. The Police are required to oblige to the same as this is a right under the law;
  5. If you obstruct Police in the course of their duty, this can lead to a criminal offence.

We are experienced in the above and many other criminal matters. We can provide legal advice throughout each step of the process including but not limited to:

  1. Your arrest;
  2. Attendance at the Police Station to provide an interview;
  3.  Sentencing options.

Our role is to answer any questions you have about your criminal matter and make the process less stressful, expedient and deliver the best possible outcome.

If you have been convicted of an offence whilst attending schoolies or you require a lawyer to attend a police interview, please contact Gatenby Criminal Law without delay on (07) 55800120 or send us a message online.

About the Author.

Sam RigbySam Rigby is a Criminal Lawyer at Gatenby Criminal Lawyers.  He is available to discuss any issues that might arise over the Schoolies festival.  You can contact us on 0477800880 or book an appointment at our office on (07)55800120.

Disclaimer

This website contains general information about legal matters.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.  You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider.  You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

For specific legal advice, you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

 

Sentencing Advisory Council – Child Homicide

Criminal lawOn 26 October 2017, the Sentencing Advisory Council received Terms of Reference from the Attorney General regarding the “penalties imposed on sentence for criminal offences arising from the death of a child”  The AG noted that there has been commentary expressing the view that the penalties imposed for these offences may not be meeting the expectations of the community.

In announcing the review the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council noted “In 2015–16, the deaths of 390 children and young people were registered in Queensland. Nine of these children and young people died as a result of suspected or confirmed assault and/or negligence. Six of these children were alleged to have been killed by a family member and two were alleged to have been killed by a non-family member (in one case the relationship had not yet been determined).”

Sentencing Advisory Council Terms of Reference

The Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council will:

  • Consider and analyse penalties currently imposed
  • Determine whether these penalties reflect the particular vulnerabilities of children
  • Identify trend and anomalies in sentences for crimes arising from a child’s death
  • Compare Queensland’s sentencing approach to other Australian jurisdictions
  • Consult with the community and key stakeholders

Consultation

As part of the review, The Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council will consult with:

  1. Members of the public;
  2. the judiciary;
  3. legal profession;
  4. victim of crime groups;
  5. child protection advocacy groups; and
  6. relevant government agencies.

Key dates

  1. Preliminary submissions – 3 December 2017:
  2. The consultation paper and further call for submissions – First half 2018:

The Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council is to report back by October 31 2018.

If you need advice regarding a legal matter or legal representation, please contact Gatenby Criminal Law on (07) 55800120 or send us a message online.

Disclaimer

This website contains general information about legal matters.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.  You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider.  You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

For specific legal advice, you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

 

Sentencing Advisory Council – Intermediate Sentencing Options and Parole

Criminal lawOn 26 October 2017, the Sentencing Advisory Council received Terms of Reference from the Attorney General regarding “community-based sentencing orders, imprisonment and parole options”.  At the core of the sentencing process is the effective rehabilitation, reintegration and supervision of prisoners released into the community.  Other than those serving a life sentence, there must be an acknowledgment that at some point an offender will be released back into the community.  Parole is crucial in reducing the risk of re-offending by those under supervision, prior to the end of their sentence.

Sofronoff Report

The terms of reference are in response to the recommendations in the 2016 Queensland Parole System Review Final Report undertaken by the new president of the Court of Appeal, Walter Sofronoff.  The examination of the parole system in followed widely published media reports of the alleged murder of Elizabeth Kippin by a man on parole.

Sentencing Advisory Council terms of reference

During the 18-month review, the Sentencing Advisory Council will look at recommendations 2–5 of the Sofronoff Report:

  • Recommendation 2: Court ordered parole should be retained.
  • Recommendation 3: A Court should have the discretion to set a parole release date or a parole eligibility date for sentences of greater than three years where the offender has served a period of time on remand and the Court considers that the appropriate further period in custody before parole should be no more than 12 months from the date of sentence.
  • Recommendation 4: A suitable entity, such as the Sentencing Advisory Council, should undertake a review into sentencing options and in particular, community-based orders to advise the Government of any necessary changes to sentencing options.
  • Recommendation 5: Court ordered parole should apply to a sentence imposed for a sexual offence.

Legislation

The review will consider the relevant legislation, including

  1. Penalties and Sentences Act 1992; and
  2. Corrective Services Act 2006

Consultation

As part of the review, The Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council will consult with:

  1. Members of the public;
  2. the judiciary;
  3. legal profession;
  4. victim of crime groups;
  5. prisoner advocacy and support groups; and
  6. relevant government agencies.

Key Dates

  1. consultation paper and call for submissions – 2018:
  2. The Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council is to report back by 30 April 2019.

 

Disclaimer

This website contains general information about legal matters.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.  You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider.  You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

For specific legal advice, you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

Welcome Return Of Drug Court To Queensland Courts

Law BooksIn acknowledging the link between addiction and the commission of criminal offences, the Queensland government has reinstated the Drug Court in Queensland.  This court recognises that rehabilitation is often the best way of achieving the objective of keeping the community safe from recidivist offenders, who might otherwise be unable to give up their drug and/or alcohol addiction.

On 24 October, the Queensland parliament passed the Penalties and Sentences (Drug and Alcohol Treatment Orders) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2017.  This bill is not only re-established the previous regime but expands it to include alcohol as a relevant drug.

In her August 10 Media Release, the Attorney General said that the bill introduces  “a new sentencing option that allows a court to place a Drug and Alcohol Treatment Order on those whose offending is directly linked to their severe drug or alcohol use, which will help put them back on the right path in life, away from re-offending in the long term.”

The primary policy objective of the legislation is to insert a new sentencing option into the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 to respond to those offenders whose offending is linked to their severe drug or alcohol use.

The legislation follows 2016, Drug and Specialist Courts Review.  The drug court is aimed at addressing severe substance abuse.  The Review’s Final Report was tabled in the Queensland Legislative Assembly on 13 June 2017 and included 39 key recommendations.

 

Mrs D’Ath in her 24 October media release said the new Drug and Alcohol Court pilot in Brisbane should be operational in November.

Creation of a Drug and Alcohol Treatment Order

The Bill will insert a new part 8A into the Penalties and Sentences Act to provide for the establishment, imposition and management of a new sentencing order in Queensland called a Drug and Alcohol Treatment Order (treatment order).

New part 8A of the Penalties and Sentences Act will provide for the making of a treatment order.  The order is designed to facilitate the rehabilitation of offenders by providing judicial supervision combined with therapeutic treatment, to reduce the offender’s substance use.  The previous drug court demonstrated that this regime reduced the level of criminal activity associated with addiction.

Eligibility for a drug court treatment order

A treatment order may only be made for an offender if the offender has a severe substance use disorder and the disorder has contributed to the commission of an offence.

Severe substance use disorder

“Severe substance use disorder” is defined as a disorder prescribed by Regulation, or if not prescribed, as a substance use disorder estimated to be severe under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Edition, as published by the American Psychiatric Association in 2013.

This ensures that the legislation will be able to adapt to any developments in the science surrounding the recognition and classification of disorders associated with the use of drugs or alcohol.

Types of offences

An offender may proceed through the drug court in respect of either:

  1. a summary offence; or
  2. an indictable offence, that is dealt with summarily.

Included offences

Offences involving violence may be subject to a drug court treatment order, however, as the person will be released back into the community as part of the sentence, the court must not make a treatment order if it is satisfied that the offender would pose an unacceptable risk to the safety and welfare of community members.

Excluded offences

  1. sexual assault offences,
  2. offenders who are subject to a parole order; or
  3. offenders who are serving a term of imprisonment

Balance of treatment order

A drug court treatment order comprises of two parts:

Custodial part – A term of imprisonment of up to four years which is suspended for a designated period of up to five years;

Rehabilitation part  – A period of at least two years that requires compliance with core conditions including:

  1. not commit another offence,
  2. appear before the court as and when directed;
  3. report any change in residence;
  4. report any change in employment;
  5. report to a review team member or an authorised corrective services officer as required; and
  6. to comply with every reasonable direction given by the court, a review team member, or an authorised corrective services officer.

Consequence of non-compliance with treatment order

The court must have regard to a number of considerations, including:

  1. the extent of the offender’s general compliance,
  2. the nature and seriousness of the non-compliance; and
  3. any other consideration that would make the particular order unjust in the circumstances.

Where the court is satisfied that the offender has demonstrated non-compliance with the rehabilitation part of the treatment order the court may:

  1. impose further conditions to achieve the purpose of the treatment order;
  2. require the offender to perform community service; order the person serve a period of the suspended sentence of up to seven days; or
  3. revoke the rehabilitation part of the treatment order and order that the offender serve all or part of the suspended sentence.

Recognition of compliance with a treatment order

The court may cancel either the whole or part of a rehabilitation part of the treatment order if it considers that the offender has complied or substantially complied with the treatment program and that continuation of the rehabilitation part is not necessary to achieve the purpose of the treatment order.

The court may amend the rehabilitation part by amending the conditions of the treatment order, including amending the type or frequency of alcohol or drug testing.

Disclaimer

This website contains general information about legal matters.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.  You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider.  You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

For specific legal advice, you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.

 

Opening of Southport’s specialist Domestic and Family Violence Court

Businesswoman in front of a bookcase

On 19 October 2017, the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath officially opened Southport’s permanent specialist Domestic and Family Violence Court.  The renovations reflect the caseload of Southport’s specialist DFV court which has dealt with more than 12,000 matter since the trial began in September 2015.

The renovations include:

  1. A dedicated registry counter for enquiries and filing DFV court applications;
  2. Secure entry for courtrooms
  3. Video conferencing facilities for female victims too fearful to attend court in person and witnesses.
  4. Quiet room for distressed women;
  5. Secure children’s play area,
  6. Meeting room facilities for men and their legal and support services, and
  7. Sound-proofed meeting rooms.

The $2.69 million renovation to upgrade Southport courthouse is in addition to the $69.5 million previously allocated to domestic and family violence courts in the 2017-18 State Budget.

The opening follows the appointment of two specialist Magistrates for the Southport DFV Court – Clare Kelly and Louise Shepherd.

Do you require legal advice or representation regarding a domestic violence matter? Call Gatenby Criminal Law now on (07) 5580 0120 or send us a message online.

Disclaimer

This website contains general information about legal matters.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.  You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your lawyer or other professional legal services provider.  You should never delay seeking legal advice, disregard legal advice, or commence or discontinue any legal action because of information on this website.

For specific legal advice, you should immediately contact Gatenby Criminal Lawyers on (07) 5580 0120.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation.