It an offence to fail to appear in court in accordance with a bail undertaking. The court has the power to revoke the bail undertaking, forfeit any sureties and issue a warrant for your arrest. What if I had a really good reason for failing to appear? The Court requires a person to show cause why they have failed to appear and in some exceptional cases, the court will accept a lawful excuse and discharge the person. In showing cause the person needs to establish that they were unable to attend court.  An example might be that the accused person was in …

Read full article

A banning order is a order that prohibits an offender, until a stated date, from doing or attempting to do any of the following: Entering or remaining in a stated licensed premises ; or a stated class of licensed premises; Entering or remaining in, during stated hours, a stated area that is a particular distance from the licensed premises; Attending or remaining at a stated event, to be held in a public place, at which liquor will be sold for consumption. Banning orders can prohibit entry to stated places. The Court has a wide discretion in relation to the terms …

Read full article

The title of Queens Counsel was reinstated following the confirmation of appointments by the Executive Counsel on Thursday 6 June 2013.  Of the 73 SC’s appointed all but three have opted to return to the more traditional title of QC. The title of QC’s or Queen’s Counsel was abolished by the Labour Government in 1994.  Since that time eminent counsel have been appointed as SC’s or Senior Counsel.  Now all counsel gaining silk will be given the title of Queen’s Counsel.

Read full article

On 28 November 2012, the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Serious Drugs, Identity Crime and Other Measures) Bill 2012 received royal assent. This act increases the value of a penalty unit from $110 to $170.00 and requires the value of a penalty unit to be reviewed every three (3) years. The value of a penalty unit has not increased since 1997. The change affects the value of a penalty unit in most Commonwealth laws, including the Taxation Administration Act 1953. The new value of a penalty unit applies where the matter at giving rise to the penalty occurs on or after 28 December 2012.

Read full article

  Mandatory sentencing has always been actively contested and denounced for years by bodies such as the Queensland Law Society, the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council as well as other civil libertarian associations throughout the state. Mandatory sentences do not work.   Magistrates and Judges, although bound by legislation, are usually given a wide discretion to determine the appropriate penalty for various offences. The legislation generally prescribes minimum and maximum penalties that ought be imposed. One of the cornerstones of a just and fair judicial system, is the discretion afforded to our courts in sentencing offenders. There is no such thing …

Read full article

The Queensland Government in reaction to a number of police pursuits has imposed mandatory fines and disqualification periods for all offences of Evade Police.  While this may seem appropriate for substantial offences involving dangerous, high speed, police pursuits, the reality is that minor infringements will also see the imposition of these mandatory sentences. Section 754 of the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000, makes it an offence for a driver of a motor vehicle to fail to stop if a police officer, using a police service vehicle, gives the driver a direction to stop the motor vehicle. A police officer will usually …

Read full article

New mobile phone laws came into effect last year on 1st November in New South Wales, where if your car is moving or stationary, you can not utilise your mobile phone in any way. This includes phone calls and texting obviously, but also includes playing music or having your phone switched on and in your lap. Queensland counterparts have yet to confirm whether they are introducing the new laws although police have a zero tolerance attitude toward mobile phone usage by drivers. Last financial year, Queensland Police fined 30,780 drivers for talking or texting on phones at the wheel, including …

Read full article

31 Oct

WEAPONS ACT

The Weapons and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2012, amended the Weapons Act 1990 (the Act), the Corrective Services Act 2006 (CSA) and the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 (PSA) to impose mandatory minimum periods of imprisonment where the offences of unlawful possession (s 50), unlawful supply (s 50B) and unlawful trafficking (s 65) of weapons are committed in certain circumstances. The legislation now provides 18 months imprisonment served wholly in a corrective services facility where an adult unlawfully possesses a firearm and it uses the firearm to commit an indictable offence where the unlawful possession is related to: 10 or …

Read full article

It is an important sentencing principle that parity exist in sentences imposed for like offences.  In a diverse state such a Queensland, with three levels of Courts; Magistrates, District and Supreme, there needs to be an overriding set of guidelines to ensure that sentences imposed upon offenders are consistent.  The Penalties and Sentences Act sets out the parameters within which the courts must operate. The legislation does this by setting out the purpose of imposing sentences and then establishes the principles that the Court is to apply in achieving those purposes. The purpose of imposing a sentence can be classified …

Read full article

21 Aug

OFFENDER LEVY

Defendants found guilty of offences in the Supreme, District and Magistrates Courts will pay an offender levy with recent amendments to the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 (“the Act”). The levy will apply as follows: Supreme Court       $300.00 District Court          $300.00 Magistrates Court    $100.00 This levy will apply to all adult offenders; there are no exceptions regardless of the nature of the offence or the offender’s personal circumstances. The offender levy is automatically imposed at the conclusion of sentencing as an administrative levy and is in addition to any other sentence imposed. The levy must …

Read full article