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Criminal Law & Offences

Potts Lawyers > Criminal Law & Offences (Page 2)

Intoxication and Criminal Charges

Worried that a nasty hangover could be the least of your concerns after a big night? It is not uncommon for people to find themselves doing things they wouldn’t usually do as a result of being intoxicated. Unfortunately, this can sometimes result in people waking up with a significant legal headache to accompany their physical one. Everyone has heard someone utter the line ‘the rum/whiskey/tequila made me do it’ after an embarrassing episode at some point or other, but does this line hold up in court? Is being intoxicated a defence to a criminal charge? The short answer in Queensland is that this will...

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The Queensland Intermediary Scheme (QIS)

What is the Queensland Intermediary Scheme? The Queensland Intermediary Scheme (also known as QIS) is a pilot program currently operating in the Brisbane and Cairns courthouses. Following the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the QIS was implemented as a two-year pilot program, but is anticipated to be extended. The Scheme is designed to support individuals with cognitive disabilities, such as intellectual impairments or autism, when they are involved in the criminal justice system. The scheme provides trained intermediaries who assist these individuals in communicating effectively with the police, legal professionals, and the courts. These intermediaries ensure that...

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Will My Matter Get Media Attention? What to be aware of when you have been charged with a criminal offence.

Introduction If you have been charged with a criminal offence, you may be concerned that your matter will attract publicity. Whether your intention is to plead guilty to your charges, or to fight them, concerns over media scrutiny are understandable.  The public interest in reporting on these events must be balanced against the administration of justice; as such it is important that you are aware of the possibilities when it comes to media exposure. Each matter is unique. If you or someone you know has been charged with a criminal offence, it is important that you are aware of the risk...

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Will I go to jail?

One of the first questions a criminal lawyer is often asked by a client that has been charged with a criminal offence is whether or not they will be required to spend time in custody at the conclusion of their matter. It is a fair and reasonable question to ask a criminal lawyer, however it is not always a simple question to answer.  The answer which is often provided is “it depends”, and that is indeed the case. Where or not a person is required to spend time in actual custody depends on a number of factors. The first is whether...

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I have been charged with a drink-driving offence. Does the QLD Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program apply to me?

We understand that the process of being charged with a drink-driving offence can be incredibly stressful. Not only do you need to consider the court process, but also any other consequences that may flow. Let’s consider the Queensland Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program and when it may apply to you. Does the Queensland alcohol interlock program apply to you? You will be required to complete the interlock program if you are charged and are found guilty or plead guilty to any of the following ‘high-risk’ drink-driving offences: Drive, or attempt to put in motion or be in charge of a vehicle under...

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Private Investigators in Criminal Matters

For several years now, our firm has regularly hired private investigators to conduct behind the scenes work on select criminal defence matters. Private investigators play a vital role in criminal defence trials in Australia. They can help to gather evidence, locate witnesses, investigate alibis, and identify weaknesses in the prosecution's case. This information can be used to build a strong defence for the accused and increase their chances of a successful outcome. What is a Private Investigator? A private investigator, also known as a private detective, is a professional who is hired by individuals and organisations to conduct investigations and gather information....

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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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Defence of Duress in Queensland

What is the defence of duress? Section 31 of the Criminal Code 1899 (Qld) provides for the defence of duress. In certain circumstances, a person is not criminally responsible for an offence if they can show that they were ‘forced’ to commit an offence by another person. In Queensland, this defence is also referred to as ‘compulsion’.   What must be proven to establish duress? An act is not unlawful if it was reasonably necessary to resist actual (and unlawful) violence threatened to the defendant, or another person in their presence. It can also be established if the defendant can show that they committed the offence because: ...

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Preparing for Your Guilty Plea – the Benefits of Character References

If you are pleading guilty to a criminal charge in the Magistrates Court in Queensland, you will have the option of providing character references to the court as part of your submissions. You are not obliged to present a reference.  Nor will failing to provide one be held against you.  However, they can prove beneficial to the outcome of your matter. Providing good references may assist your lawyer in highlighting positive aspects of your character, your relationships and your circumstances. Furthermore, in circumstances where your offending could be seen as ‘out of character’, references can help to distinguish you, as a person, from...

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Changes To Queensland Law Regarding The Publication (And Non-Publication) Of Names Of Defendants Charged With Sexual Offences

Introduction The Justice and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2023 is dramatically changing the law that applies to the publication of the names of people charged with certain types of sexual offences. The legislation will take effect from 3 October 2023. Section 7 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Act 1978, deals with the naming of individuals accused of “prescribed sexual offences”. The Queensland government is seeking to reshape the way the Court system deals with sexual allegations in a way that will affect both defendants and complainants. Under the changes, people accused of sexual offences will be publicly identified unless they are granted...

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