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Criminal Law & Offences

Potts Lawyers > Criminal Law & Offences (Page 6)

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

Old Definition of Murder 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.   New Definition of Murder 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 Defintion of Murder Explained The new definition essentially means that if a person foresees death as a probable...

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Why you need legal representation whether your matter is big or small

Sufficiency of evidence and public interest factors                     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 criminal charges can be extremely damaging and long lasting. Matter #1 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 a clearly...

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Just what is ‘Wilful damage’

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 concern in the Courts and Justice system.   Grajewski  v DPP (NSW) [2019] HCA 8 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)....

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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 agents 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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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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Did you know that you could get done drink driving on an electric scooter?

Article by Erin Mitchell, Senior Criminal Lawyer On Saturday 13 January 2019, a man in his 40s was intercepted by Police in Brisbane riding one of those new green electric scooters that you see parked around the Brisbane CBD. It is alleged the man was riding the scooter without a helmet and proceeded through a red light without stopping. When Police intercepted him, they breathalysed him and he returned a reading of 0.174% blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The man was charged with driving under the influence – a high range drink driving offence, given the reading was over 0.15% BAC. Can this be correct? Can...

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Bill Potts Interview with ABC on Magistrates’ Court Backlog

Our Founding Director and President of the Queensland Law Society, Bill Potts, was interviewed by ABC's Rebecca Levingston in relation to the current backlog of cases in Queensland's Magistrates' Court. Click below to listen to the extract. [audio mp3="https://pottslawyers.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Bill-ABC-Interview.mp3"][/audio] The full radio show "Mornings with Rebecca Levingston" for Thursday 24 January 2019 is available here: https://www.abc.net.au/radio/brisbane/programs/focus/mornings/10724970 About Bill Potts As one of Australia’s most senior criminal defence lawyers, Bill models a philosophy of client service, a strong work ethic, a passion for winning and an appreciation of the finer points of criminal law advocacy. What that means for all clients of Potts Lawyers is access to the strongest possible...

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Queensland Drug and Alcohol Court

Article by Erin Mitchell, Senior Criminal Lawyer Queensland Drug and Alcohol Court So many of our clients, and their families, ask if there is some type of penalty option where a person can be ordered to attend a rehab facility instead of jail and for a number of years, the answer has been “no”.  Today, 29 January 2019, marks one year since the Queensland Drug and Alcohol Court commenced in Brisbane. As criminal defence lawyers, we were relieved to see such an important feature of our criminal justice system re-established. The Drug and Alcohol Court QLD has a focus on assisting those persons...

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Unlawful striking causing death – “One punch can kill”

Article by Adam Moschella On 18 December 2018 the Queensland Court of Appeal handed down their decision in the matter of R v Renata; Ex parte Attorney-General for the State of Queensland [2018] QCA 356. Most would be aware of the facts of this case given the heavy media attention the matter has received. In the early hours of the morning on 3 January 2016, in Fortitude Valley’s Chinatown Mall, the respondent, Mr Renata struck the deceased, Cole Miller to the jaw once with a clenched fist while his back was turned (this type of act is more commonly described as a...

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