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…]

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.


  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.


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.


Gatenby Criminal Lawyers Christmas Closure

Gatenby Lawyers at the beachGatenby Criminal Lawyers are closing the office for a well earned break between Friday 18 December 2015 and Monday 4 January 2016.  If you need an urgent appointment or wish to check your upcoming court appearances, our office can be contacted on (07) 55800 120.

We will be available for urgent matters during the Christmas Break and will appear in the arrest court for bail applications.



Proposed Offence of Strangulation


Woman being abused and strangled by a manThe Queensland Government has indicated that it will this week, introduce a new offence of  non-fatal strangulation.  The offence will be introduced into the Queensland Criminal Code and will be a strand alone offence not limited by association to any other crime.

 The creation of a specific offence of strangulation was a recommendation of the Special Taskforce on Domestic Violence report Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an End to Domestic Violence in Queensland.  The report called for the new offence after apparently identifying a gap in the Criminal Code.

The report went on the indicate that “strangulation is a very common feature of Domestic and Family Violence and is also seen as a predictive risk factor for future more severe Domestic and Family Violence and for Homicide?”

Currently a person alleged to be choking, strangling or suffocating a person would be charged with an offence of Assault which is made out where a person strikes, touches, or moves, or otherwise applies force of any kind to, the person of another, either directly or indirectly.  

Common assault attracts a maximum penalty of three (3) years imprisonment, although fines and other penalties are often applied.  The proposed maximum penalty for the new offence will be seven (7) years.


New appointment announced for Qld Court of Appeal

wig 1Justice Philip McMurdo was this month appointed as a judge of the Court of Appeal.

Justice McMurdo will fill the vacancy created by the appointment of Chief Justice Catherine Holmes, who sat on the Court of Appeal from 2006 until her appointment as Chief Justice in September this year.

Justice McMurdo came to the Bar in 1980 and took silk in 1992.

He served two terms as a part-time member of the Queensland Law Reform Commission from 1995-2001.

He was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2003 and has sat regularly in both the trial and appellate jurisdictions of that Court

Schoolies Week & Alcohol: What Does the Law Say?

Portrait of group of friends toasting with bottles of beer.

At the commencement of every Schoolies Week there is the inevitable footage of police confiscating alcohol purchased for or on behalf of underage schoolies.  There is the long and lasting debate over what is and is not acceptable behaviour by both schoolies and the parents that “supply” them with alcohol.  What is of some concern is the lack of understanding as to what the law permits.

Purchase of Alcohol by Minors.

The law is very clear in relation to the sale of Liquor to a minor.  Section 155A of the Liquor Act 1992 relevently provides that: A person must not sell liquor to a minor.

Maximum penalty—

  1.  if the person is the licensee or permittee of, or an approved manager working at, the premises to which a licence or permit relates—250 penalty units; or
  2. in any other case—80 penalty units.

Section 156 further provides that:  A person must not, on premises to which a licence or permit relates—

  1. supply liquor to; or
  2. permit or allow liquor to be supplied to; or
  3. allow liquor to be consumed by;

a person who—

  •  is a minor; or
  • is unduly intoxicated or disorderly.

People in night club. Dancing, drinking and having funMinors on licensed Premises.

Section 155 of the Liquor Act provides that in relation to all but exempt minors, a  licensee, permittee or person in control of the premises to which the licence or permit relates must ensure that a minor is not on the premises.

Alcohol in a private place.

Parents and friends who supply minors with alcohol for their schoolies week celebrations face significant fines of up to $9,424.00.  The prohibition is on the “unsupervised consumption” of alcohol in a private place.

  1. An adult must not supply liquor to a minor at a private place, unless the adult is a responsible adult for the minor.
  2. A responsible adult for a minor must not supply liquor to the minor at a private place, unless the supply is consistent with the responsible supervision of the minor.
  3. In considering whether the supply is consistent with the responsible supervision of the minor, relevant factors include the following
  • (a)  whether the adult is unduly intoxicated
  • (b)  whether the minor is unduly intoxicated;
  • (c)  the age of the minor;
  • (d)  whether the minor is consuming the liquor supplied with food;
  • (e)  whether the adult is responsibly supervising the minor’s consumption of the liquor supplied;
  • (f)  the quantity of liquor supplied and the period over which it was supplied.

A celebratory drink is permitted so long as the minor is supervised and is not intoxicated.  There is also a requirement that the parent is in a condition to supervise.  The Liquor Act provides that a person is intoxicated when a persons, speech, balance, coordination or behaviour is affected and there are reasonable grounds for believing the affected speech, balance, coordination or behaviour is the result of the consumption of liquor, drugs or another intoxicating substance

The same rules apply to schoolies who are of the legal drinking age and supply alcohol to their underage mates.

Last year during schoolies police and liquor licensing officials issued a number of fines including:

  • 200 for minors for possessing alcohol in a public place;
  • 113 to adults for consuming alcohol in a public place; and
  • 79 to minors falsely representing themselves as over 18 years of age.

Domestic Violence Legislative Changes

Angry man overpowering his girlfriendIn response to the recent spate of domestic violence deaths last week the Queensland Government has fast tracked a number of recommendations of the former Governor General, Quentin Bryce’s “Not Now, Not Ever” Report into Domestic Violence. The Legislation to be introduced to Parliament this week will:

  1. increase maximum penalties for first-time breaches of DVOs to three years jail and subsequent breaches to up to five years jail.
  2. give victims “special witness” status when giving evidence in court proceedings.
  3.  record domestic violence-related offences on a person’s criminal history to reveal repeated family violence offending.


Crime and Corruption Commission temporary appointments 

Temporary Appointments to Queensland’s CCC

Temporary appointments to the Crime and Corruption Commission have been announced by the Queensland Attorney General.

The acting appointments are:

 Acting Chairperson Ann Gummow

Ann Gummow was a commissioner of the then-Crime and Misconduct Commission from 2006-2011 and previously acted as chairperson. She has more than two decades’ experience with the Women’s Legal Service in Brisbane.

 Acting Chief Executive Officer Kathleen Florian

Kathleen Florian has extensive experience in the investigation of serious and organised crime. Since 2012 she has been in charge of the CCC’s major crime function, which comprises specialist teams targeting the state’s highest-threat organised crime groups, criminal pedophilia and proceeds of crime.

 Acting Commissioner David Kent QC

Since 1989, David Kent QC has practised predominantly in criminal law but has broad experience in personal injuries, industrial, administrative and commercial law.  He has appeared for the defence and the prosecution in all Queensland courts, and up to the High Court of Australia.

 Acting Commissioner Soraya Ryan QC

Soraya Ryan QC is a barrister specialising in criminal, mental health and administrative law. She has experience as a prosecutor, educator and appeared as counsel for Legal Aid Queensland in trials, appeals and other applications before commencing work at the private bar in 2010.