Introduction On July 1, 2024, a significant change will take place regarding the prescribed monetary value of penalty units in Queensland. This adjustment, outlined in the Penalties and Sentences (Penalty Unit Value) Amendment Regulation 2024, aims to increase the penalty unit value, thereby maintaining the deterrent and punitive effects of fines and infringement notices. This blog will break down the amendment, its purpose, and its implications for residents and businesses in Queensland. What is a Penalty Unit? A penalty unit is a standard measure used to calculate fines for various offences. Instead of legislating specific dollar amounts for fines, laws …

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The recent enactment of the Criminal Code (Serious Vilification and Hate Crimes) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2023 brings significant changes to the legal landscape, introducing a new offence under section 52D of the Criminal Code.  Additionally, the legislation creates a circumstance of aggravation to existing prescribed charges, which increases the maximum penalty and the jurisdiction that the matters can be resolved. Understanding the Hate Crime Circumstance of Aggravation: The most notable change introduced by the amendment is the creation of a “circumstance of aggravation” associated with existing prescribed charges. This circumstance of aggravation carries a range of implications for …

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drug driving

Cocaine to be included in Drug Driving Testing In response to the rising number of serious crashes, the Queensland Government has expanded its highly successful roadside drug testing program to include testing for cocaine. The inclusion of cocaine in the program aims to detect dangerous drivers and keep them off the state’s roads. Drivers on Queensland roads can be charged with an offence of driving while a relevant drug is present even if their driving is not impaired by the drug.  With a zero-tolerance approach to drug driving, Queensland has implemented tough penalties for offenders, including license disqualification, fines, and …

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On 1 July 2023, the monetary value of a penalty unit increased from $143.75 to $154.80, with the implementation of the Penalties and Sentences (Penalty Unit Value) Amendment Regulation 2023. This amendment seeks to increase the prescribed monetary value of the penalty unit under the Penalties and Sentences Regulation 2015. The stated objective is to ensure that fines and infringement notices remain effective as deterrents and punishments for various offences. The Purpose of the Penalty Unit Value Regulation The primary purpose of the Penalties and Sentences (Penalty Unit Value) Amendment Regulation 2023 is to raise the monetary value of the …

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The High Court handed down an important decision on reasonable apprehension of bias in the matter of QYFM v Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs [2023] HCA 15.  Apprehended apprehension of bias is said to arise where “a fair-minded lay observer might reasonably apprehend that the judge might not bring an impartial mind to the resolution of the question the judge is required to decide” Ebner v Official Trustee in Bankruptcy (2000) 205 CLR 337 at 345. Facts QFM was a citizen of Burkinsa Faso.  He was sentenced to a term of 10 years imprisonment for a …

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In a move to alleviate the financial burden on Queenslanders, the Transport Legislation Amendment Regulation (No. 2) 2023 has brought about a significant change regarding learner driver licenses.  As of 1 March 2023, the fee for granting or renewing a learner driver license has been reduced to $75.00. This reduction reflects the Queensland government’s recognition of the ongoing cost of living pressures . The Amendment Regulation ensures that this reduced fee will continue to apply to learner driver licenses issued on or after 1 July 2023 and throughout the 2023-24 financial year. Learner License Affordability and Accessibility: Obtaining a learner …

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Mental health issues can play a significant role in criminal sentencing. Whether you are facing charges or representing a client, it is important to understand the connection between mental health and criminal sentencing. Mental Health Issues in Criminal Cases Mental health issues can impact a person’s behavior, judgment, and decision-making abilities. In some cases, mental health issues can lead to criminal behavior. For example, someone suffering from severe depression may commit an act of self-harm or attempt suicide. In other cases, mental health issues can be used as a mitigating factor in criminal cases. For instance, someone with a history …

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If you have been convicted of a criminal offense, you may have the opportunity to write a letter of apology to the court. This letter can be an important step in expressing remorse and accepting responsibility for your actions. Here are five tips to help you write a letter of apology to the court: 1. Be Sincere When writing your letter of apology, it is essential to be sincere. This means taking responsibility for your actions, expressing genuine remorse, and acknowledging the harm you have caused. Avoid making excuses or trying to shift blame onto others. Instead, take ownership of …

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Queensland’s Police Drug Diversion program is set to be expanded to include minor possession of all types of drugs, with a new tiered approach to smaller quantities of drugs. Tiered Approach to Drug Diversion First minor drug possession offence Police officer issues a warning; and Drug warning notice and police referral to a support service. Second and third minor drug possession offence. Person offered the opportunity to participate in a mandatory Drug Diversion Assessment Program Fourth minor drug possession offence Notice to appear in court. Consistent approach to Drug Diversion with other states and Territories. The expanded drug diversion program …

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Domestic violence is a pervasive issue both in Queensland, and throughout Australia. It affects many individuals and families. The Queensland Government has implemented a range of measures to combat domestic violence, including the introduction of specific laws and policies designed to protect victims and hold offenders accountable. Here is an overview of what domestic violence is in Queensland: Definition of Domestic Violence In Queensland, domestic violence is defined as behavior by one person towards another person with whom they have, or have had, an intimate relationship. This behavior can include: physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, psychological abuse, as well …

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