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Criminal Law & Offences

Potts Lawyers > Criminal Law & Offences

The law of double jeopardy in Queensland confirmed – Director of Public Prosecutions v TAL [2019] QCA 279

An application pursuant to s678B of the Criminal Code 1899   Last month in a unanimous decision, the Queensland Court of Appeal dismissed an application brought by the Director of Public Prosecutions for an order pursuant to section 678B of the Criminal Code that a person be retried for a murder for which they were previously acquitted. This was the first occasion that a court in Queensland has heard such an application.   Brief Background The respondent was charged with the deceased’s murder. The only issue at the respondent’s 1988 trial was the identity of the killer. The jury acquitted the respondent.  The...

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Industrial Manslaughter in Queensland  

Queensland Mines Minister Anthony Lynham has announced the intention of the government to introduce new laws in response to the recent spate of Queensland mine deaths – 7 in the past year. An offence of industrial manslaughter will be introduced for the mining sector. The offence of industrial manslaughter does presently exist in Queensland. However, these laws do not yet apply to the mining sector. As an example, earlier this year ‘Multi-Run Roofing’ Director, Gary Lavin was found guilty of reckless conduct after a 62 year old roofer died at a worksite in 2014. He was sentenced to a period of 1...

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Important Changes to Special Hardship Order Applications

The Transport Operations (Road Use Management—Driver Licensing) Regulation 2010 governs Special Hardship Orders. This regulation has recently been amended. For those wishing to apply for a Special Hardship Order, it is important to understand how these changes may affect you.   Change 1 – Removal of 21 Day Time Limit Prior to 1 April 2019, eligible drivers had 21 days from the date of their suspension to apply for a Special Hardship Order. This restriction has now been removed to allow drivers to apply for a Special Hardship Order at any time during their suspension period. This amendment takes into account the fact that circumstances...

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No Body, No Parole – Recent decision of Lincoln v Parole Board of Queensland [2019]

The recent decision of Lincoln v Parole Board of Queensland [2019] QSC 156 demonstrates the application section 193A of the Corrective Services Act 2002. This provision is more commonly referred to as the “No body, no parole law”. The decision demonstrates that the application of the law does not specifically go to knowledge of the whereabouts of the remains of the victim of an unlawful killing. Rather, it is broader and parole can be denied where a prisoner has not cooperated satisfactorily with the investigation of the offence as a whole which could potentially lead to the location of the deceased.   When...

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Trafficking in dangerous drugs and the application of the “extraordinary circumstances” principle

R v Nunn [2019] QCA 100 – Trafficking in dangerous drugs and the application of the “extraordinary circumstances” principle   In a decision by the Court of Appeal on 7 May 2019 and published on 28 May 2019, the Court again affirmed the “extraordinary circumstances” principle which is relevant when dealing with mature persons charged trafficking in Schedule 1 dangerous drugs. Traditionally, case law dictates that in circumstances where the trafficking is large scale, the sentences which are imposed on mature offenders who have plead guilty range from 10 – 12 years imprisonment. This recent decision indicates that the principle, is to be...

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The definition of murder has been expanded – but is this a step too far?

Before the 1 May 2019, a person could only be convicted of murder in Queensland if it could be shown that the person intended to kill or cause grievous bodily harm to a person. Following the recent passing of the Criminal Code and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 on 1 May 2019, the definition of murder has since been expanded to include death caused by an act done or omission made with reckless indifference to human life. The new definition essentially means that if a person foresees death as a probable consequence of their actions, even though it was not their intention...

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Why you need a lawyer whether your matter is big or small

  Sufficiency of evidence and public interest factors: Why you need a lawyer…………… whether your matter is big or small!                            Two matters on my desk were finalised in the past week and they gave me cause to think about just how important it is to have sound legal advice and representation, whether your matter is a minor charge or a serious one. The ramifications for both sorts of charges can be extremely damaging and long lasting. In the first matter, I had been sitting in the traffic court when a colleague from a court assistance program asked me if I could help out...

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Just what is ‘Wilful damage’

Article by Michael Purcell, Senior Criminal Lawyer Have you ever wondered what someone needs to do to attract a charge of ‘Wilful damage’? Recent charges where people have spat or thrown eggs on cars, where no other damage was caused other than requiring the car to be cleaned have caused Courts concern. Recently, the High Court in Grajewski  v DPP (NSW) [2019] HCA 8 allowed an appeal and quashed the appellant's conviction and sentence for the offence of intentionally or recklessly destroying or damaging property belonging to another, contrary to s 195(1)(a) of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).Although the appeal is from a...

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Definition of Murder Changed in Queensland

On 1 May 2019 the State Government passed the Criminal Code and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 which makes amendments to the definition of murder in Queensland. The legislation is the result of the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council’s report into the sentencing statistics and issues surrounding child homicide cases in Queensland (Sentencing for Criminal Offences Arising from the Death of a Child: Final Report). The report found that offenders sentenced for adult manslaughter received jail sentences of 8.5 years on average, compared with 6.8 years for child manslaughter. The Bill, which amends the Criminal Code 1899, Evidence Act 1977 and the Penalties...

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Visa Cancellations and Criminal Convictions – How does a criminal conviction affect my visa status?

The topical question of how a criminal conviction affects our client’s visa is a regular and common question for our team at Potts Lawyers. As in most areas of law, the answer will always depend on your individual circumstance and factors that are given weight by the courts. If your criminal matter has migration aspects, our Criminal team will refer your matter to our in-house registered migration agent to ensure your matter is promptly addressed. If you have received a Notice of Cancellation you are an unlawful non-citizen and should urgently seek legal advice. If you have received a Notice of...

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