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Author: Danielle Hanson

Potts Lawyers > Articles posted by Danielle Hanson

Applying for Parole in Queensland: What You Need to Know

Do you have a loved one in prison who has a parole eligibility date coming up and who wants to apply for parole? Then this article is for you. Someone who has been given a parole eligibility date at sentence by the Court or who has had their parole orders cancelled will need to make an application to the Parole Board Queensland to be considered for release on parole. The parole system in Queensland plays a vital role in the criminal justice system. It offers a path for individuals convicted of crimes to reintegrate into society while under supervision. In Queensland, the...

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Mental Health Defences and the Mental Health Court

Queensland, like many other jurisdictions, has mechanisms in place to appropriately deal with the connection between mental health and criminal offending. This can involve diverting individuals with mental health issues or intellectual disabilities away from traditional criminal courts and into mental health treatment and support programs. The Mental Health Court in Queensland has three key tasks: Determining: whether a person charged with a criminal offence was of unsound mind when they allegedly committed the offence; and/or whether the person is fit for trial;   Hearing appeals from the Mental Health Review Tribunal; and   Conducting inquiries into whether a person’s detention in a mental...

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What Does “Choking” Mean in Queensland? A New Court of Appeal Decision Provides Us with a Definition

What Does “Choking” Mean in Queensland? A New Court of Appeal Decision Provides Us with a Definition On 5 May 2016, an offence of choking, suffocating or strangulation in a domestic setting was introduced in Queensland following a recommendation made by the Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence in Queensland (“the Taskforce”) in their Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an end to domestic and family violence in Queensland report. In order to prove an offence of choking, suffocating or strangulation, the police must prove (beyond a reasonable doubt) that: the accused choked, suffocated or strangled another person; the above act was...

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Easing of COVID-19 restrictions in QLD as of 2nd May 2020

THE COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS THAT ARE BEING EASED IN QUEENSLAND AS OF 2 MAY 2020 Restrictions have now been in place as to when we can and cannot leave home for several weeks now. We have seen a promising decline in the amount of new cases of the coronavirus over the last couple of weeks, and the Queensland Government have responded by announcing an ease in the restrictions on movement in Queensland. As of 2 May 2020, you will have more opportunities to leave your home and go outside for enjoyment. We have summarised the updated Home Confinement, Movement and Gathering Direction below. Bear...

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The Ways That COVID-19 Has Changed Bail Applications

Do you have a loved one currently in custody awaiting a trial/sentence? Are you worried about their wellbeing during this COVID-19 pandemic? Read on. The unusual circumstances we currently all find ourselves in are unprecedented. Businesses and government departments are having to change the way they do things – almost on a weekly basis. Queensland Corrective Services (QCS) is no exception. In order to follow the Government’s recommendations and directions for public safety during this time, the prisons have gone into various stages of lockdown. At the time of writing, Stage 3 restrictions are in place, which means that QCS has already...

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How Informant Evidence can Prevent Justice and Lead to Wrongful Convictions

Last week, on 26 July 2019, convicted murderer Faruk Orman, walked free after serving 12 years in prison. His conviction was overturned following shocking revelations that his barrister, Lawyer X (aka Nicola Gobbo) was providing information to police that led to his ultimate conviction. The Victorian Court of Appeal held that the information provided by Ms Gobbo led to a contamination of his case and found that the conviction was a “substantial miscarriage of justice”. This is the first conviction to be overturned by the Court of Appeal in Victoria since the start of the Royal Commission. Sadly, though, it is...

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Three laws parents in Queensland should know about (but probably don’t)

Article by Danielle Hansen, Criminal Lawyer At what age can you leave your child unattended? Kids across Queensland are well and truly back to school for the year.  In this article, we have outlined the laws surrounding the safety and protocol parents of children in Queensland should be aware of, particularly: leaving your children unattended; how kids are to travel in cars; and disciplining your child (particularly smacking). We suspect that most parents are unaware that to leave your child unattended and without supervision can be a criminal offence. It is a controversial topic that has received a lot of attention in the media and...

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Going for a night out? These are the laws you need to be aware of

Article by Danielle Warren, Criminal Lawyer   In 2014, the Queensland government passed laws about how you can behave at or near places where alcohol is being sold and supplied.  Police also have powers to respond quickly to anti-social behaviour around these areas.  The areas include licensed premises (such as bars and clubs), special areas known as ‘safe night precincts’ or events where alcohol is being sold or served.  The laws were introduced to minimise alcohol and drug-related violence, disturbances, and public disorder in certain areas. It would be wise to read this before you leave for a night out. What offences could I...

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Changes to the Mental Health Act

There were changes to the Queensland laws surrounding mental health in March 2017 when the Mental Health Act 2016 commenced, replacing the Mental Health Act 2000. Changes to the way charges in the Magistrates Court are dealt with under the Mental Health Act Perhaps one of the biggest changes to new Mental Health Act is the express powers provided to the Magistrates Court to deal with people charged with simple offences (offences punishable in the Magistrates Court). Previously, the Magistrates Court had little power to make orders for matters where the defendant may have been of unsound mind at the time of an offence or...

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Are our Courts too lenient on Domestic Violence Offenders?

The presence of domestic violence in Australia has never been so topical and news-worthy. Victims of domestic violence, focus groups, the community, the government, and the courts have all made it very clear that domestic violence will not be tolerated in Australia. A recent sentence handed down by the Queensland Court of Appeal (the highest court in Queensland) has generated a large amount of public attention and questions have been raised as to whether our courts are being too lenient on perpetrators of domestic violence. In the matter of R v Kelley, Mr Kelley came before the court charged with Assault Occasioning...

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