Australian Law Courts

Intensive Correction Orders

What is an Intensive Correction Order?

An Intensive Correction Order is a period of imprisonment that is served in the community, rather than in a correctional facility.

Am I eligible for an Intensive Correction Order?

If you have been sentenced to a period of imprisonment for one year or less, you may be granted an intensive correction order under section 112 of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 (Qld) (“Act”).  An Order may only be made if you consent to both the Order being made and the conditions of the Order.

What are the requirements of an Order?

 A presiding Magistrate or Judge must include several conditions on your Order, including:-

  • That you not commit another offence during the period of the order;
  • That you report to, or receive visits from, corrective services officers at least twice a week;
  • That you attend counselling and other programs as directed;
  • That you perform community service as directed;
  • That you notify an authorised corrective services officer if you change residence; and
  • That you do not leave Queensland without permission.

The court may also attach additional conditions to the Order, including a condition that you submit to medical, psychiatric or psychological treatment.

Can my Order be revoked?

Your Intensive Correction Order can be revoked or amended, on application from yourself, an authorised corrective services officer or the Director of Public Prosecutions.

The Order will only be revoked or changed if:-

  • you are not able to comply with the order due to a material change of circumstances;
  • your circumstances presented to the court during sentencing were not accurate;
  • you are no longer willing to comply with the conditions of the order; or
  • you have breached a condition of your Order.

It is important you seek legal advice if you, or an authorised person, is seeking to revoke your Order.

What happens if I breach my Order?

It is an offence to contravene your Intensive Correction Order without a reasonable excuse.  The maximum penalty for this offence is a fine of 10 penalty units.

In addition to being sentenced for breaching your Intensive Correction Order, the Order may be revoked and you may be required to serve the remaining period of the Order in a correctional facility.  It is therefore very important you understand your obligations under the Order and comply with each and every condition.

What do I do if I have been charged with breaching my Order?

If you have been charged with a breach of your Intensive Correction Order, it is important to seek legal advice immediately.

There is always a range in the severity of penalty that could be imposed, even in matters where a period of mandatory imprisonment applies.  The presiding Judge or Magistrate has discretion and will impose a penalty that is appropriate in your circumstances.  We can assist by ensuring the presiding Judge or Magistrate has all of the relevant information, and is aware of your particular circumstances and mitigating factors.  This can result in you having a lesser penalty imposed.

If you have been charged with a breach of your Intensive Correction Order and would like legal advice about your matter, or for our office to represent you, please contact our office on 07 4963 2000 or through our online contact form below.

Seek advice if you require
more information or assistance.

(07) 4963 2000
ONLINE ENQUIRY
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Glass with alcohol, keys and handcuffs symobilising drink driving offences may carry a mandatory term of imprisonment

Mandatory Imprisonment
for Drink Driving Offences

Have you been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or a drug? Is it your third offence?  You may be subject to a period of mandatory imprisonment.

There are certain circumstances in which a presiding Magistrate must impose a term of imprisonment if you are found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol or a relevant drug.  This is referred to as “mandatory imprisonment”.

It is important for you to seek legal advice as soon as possible if you believe you will be sentenced to a period of mandatory imprisonment.

General drink drive penalties

In most circumstances, the presiding Magistrate will have discretion to determine the appropriate penalty for a drink driving offence.  There are many penalties that could be imposed, from a fine to a community based order.

Mandatory imprisonment

There are some circumstances when a presiding Magistrate must impose a period of imprisonment for a drink driving offence.  The circumstances are limited, and only apply if:-

  1. you are convicted of a high range drink driving offence (or an offence of driving under the influence of a drug); and
  2. in the past five years, you have been convicted of two prior offences of high range drink driving.

You will also face a mandatory term of imprisonment if:-

  1. you are convicted of a high range drink driving offence (or an offence of driving under the influence of a drug); and
  2. in the past five years, you have been convicted on two or more occasions of the following offences:-
  • any offences relating to driving a motor vehicle heard before the District or Supreme Court; or
  • dangerous operation of a vehicle.

If this applies to you, the presiding Magistrate must impose a period of imprisonment as part (or all) of the penalty.  It is important you seek legal advice as soon as possible.

Do I actually have to go to jail?

A term of imprisonment can be served in different ways.

The period may be “wholly suspended”, meaning you will not be required to spend time in custody unless you breach the terms of your suspended sentence.  Therefore, although a period of imprisonment must be imposed the sentence may be structured in a way that allows you to remain in the community and not spend time in jail.  It is important you seek legal advice to determine whether you will be required to spend actual time in custody as a result of your offence.

There is always a range in the severity of penalty that could be imposed, even in matters where a period of mandatory imprisonment applies.  The presiding Judge or Magistrate has discretion and will impose a penalty that is appropriate in your circumstances.  We can assist by ensuring the presiding Judge or Magistrate has all of the relevant information, and is aware of your particular circumstances and mitigating features.  This can result in you having a lesser penalty imposed.

You can find out more about the penalties for drink driving offences here.

If you have been charged driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and would like legal advice about your matter, or for our office to represent you, please contact our office on 07 4963 2000 or through our online contact form below.

Michael Kane
Graduate Law Clerk
Criminal Law

Seek advice if you require
more information or assistance.

(07) 4963 2000
ONLINE ENQUIRY
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Reporter reporting on court matter

The media and criminal law matters

Do you have to go to Court?
Are you worried about your case being in the media?

The media are often present in court, and may be interested in your court matter.  It is possible your matter will be reported in the newspaper, on news programs or on social media.  The media are obliged to report in a manner that is accurate and fair to you and journalists must comply with certain regulations when reporting your matter to the media.

The prospect of having your matter reported by the media can be confronting.  We have answered some common questions about media below.

Can a reporter name me in their report?

Yes.  Reporters are able to publish your name, the offence you have been charged with and the details of the offence.

There are exemptions if you have been charged with certain offences, particularly where naming you would also identify a victim involved in the offending.  You should seek legal advice if you believe an exemption should apply in your circumstances.

Can reporters film me or take photos inside of the court?

No.  It is prohibited for anyone to film or take photographs inside a court room in Queensland.  Media do not have an exemption, and are unable to film you or photograph you within the court room or court house.

However, reporters and media may wait outside of the courthouse.  The reporters may take photographs or videos of you entering and/or leaving the courthouse.

Are statements I make in court allowed to be published?

Yes.  Reporters in the court room are able to publish statements you make in Court.  The reporters are also able to report statements made on your behalf (for example, by your solicitor).

There are some exemptions, and you should seek legal advice if there is a particular statement you do not wish to be reported.

Can a reporter post on social media during my court appearance?

Yes.  Reporters are able to report to social media during an appearance.  This includes “live tweeting” a Trial.  The report must be accurate and fairly presented, and the reporter must use their devices in a manner that does not disrupt proceedings.

Can a reporter use a device to audio-record my matter?

Media are able to privately audio-record your matter.  The audio-recording is generally used to ensure the subsequent report is accurate and factual.  The audio-recording cannot be broadcast or published.

For more information relating to media reporting, or if you have been charged with a crime, please contact our office on 07 4963 2000 or through our online contact form below.

Michael Kane
Graduate Law Clerk
Criminal Law

Seek advice if you require
more information or assistance.

(07) 4963 2000
ONLINE ENQUIRY
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women looking at wardrobe deciding what to wear to court

I’m going to court
what should I wear?

Going to Court can be a very stressful and confusing time.  We often have clients who are unsure of what to wear, particularly if our client has not been to Court before.

It is important to present yourself appropriately, and to dress suitably for Court.  There are a few simple guidelines to follow to ensure that you are dressed appropriately.

Dress Conservatively

You should dress conservatively and make sure your clothes fit you, and that you are modestly covered.  If you are wearing a dress or skirt, you should ensure the length is appropriate for Court.  You should not wear shorts, dresses and skirts that are shorter than knee length.  If you do not have knee length attire, we recommend that you wear stockings underneath or choose to wear pants instead.

Present neatly

You should present as well groomed, with tidy hair and clean clothing.  Facial hair should be neat and any tattoos should be covered if possible.

Avoid certain items of clothing

You should avoid wearing jeans, shorts, t-shirts and thongs.  You should also avoid any item of clothing with logos or slogans that could be deemed offensive or inappropriate.

Avoid being too formal

It is not necessary for you to wear a suit and tie, dress suit or a tuxedo.  You should be aiming to be dressed in smart casual or office appropriate attire.

Avoid buying expensive new clothes

While it is important that you dress appropriately, you should not go to the unnecessary expense of purchasing expensive clothing for your Court appearance.  This would not be practical for many clients.

Many clients have appropriate clothing to wear to Court, without needing to purchase new clothes.  For example, you could wear the following:-

  • A simple ironed button down or polo shirt, dress pants and dress shoes; or
  • A dress or skirt and blouse, conservative in length (knee length or longer) and appropriate footwear.

For more information, or if you would like to speak with someone about your pending court matter, please contact our office.

(07) 4963 2000
ONLINE ENQUIRY
Brittany Colussi, Solicitor, Wallace & Wallace Lawyers Mackay

Brittany Colussi
Solicitor
Criminal Law

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Application for Protection Order
filed by the Police?

The police have filed an Application for Protection Order naming me as the Aggrieved – what can I do?

In Queensland, the Police can file an Application for Protection Order (commonly referred to as a DVO) against an individual (the ‘Respondent’), if they believe that the person has committed domestic violence against another person (the ‘Aggrieved’), and that an Order is necessary to protect the Aggrieved from domestic violence occurring in the future.

At times the Aggrieved does not want the Police to file or proceed with the Application.  An Aggrieved may not want the Order for a number of reasons including:-

  • they do not believe that the Respondent has committed domestic violence against them; or
  • they do not believe a Protection Order is necessary to prevent further domestic violence from occurring;
  • they want to remain in a relationship and are worried about the strain associated with the Application on the relationship;
  • they are being pressured by the Respondent or family not to proceed with the Application.

Below are the answers to some commonly asked questions an Aggrieved may have about a Police Application.

Will the Police withdraw the DVO Application if I tell them I don’t want it?

While the Aggrieved’s wishes will be taken into account, the Police can still proceed with an Application for Protection Order, even if the Aggrieved does not want the Order in place.

The Police may choose to proceed in circumstances where they consider it necessary to protect the Aggrieved from further domestic violence occurring in the future.

Can I tell the Magistrate I do not want the DVO in place?

Even though the Police are making the Application, the Aggrieved can still attend Court and appear before the Magistrate.  On the first Court date, the Magistrate will ask the Respondent what they want to do.  The Respondent can:-

  1. Consent to the Order being made;
  2. Consent without admission to the Order being made;
  3. Contest the Application and have the matter set down for Hearing; or
  4. Request an adjournment.

The Aggrieved will then have the opportunity to tell the Magistrate whether they are supportive of the Order being made.

While the Aggrieved’s wishes can be taken into consideration, the Police can still proceed with their Application.

What if I would like a DVO, but I do not want the conditions sought?

The mandatory conditions for a Protection Order are that:-

  1. The Respondent must be of good behaviour towards the Aggrieved; and
  2. The Respondent must not commit acts of domestic violence against the Aggrieved.

In some circumstances the Police may apply for additional conditions to be included on a Protection Order, for example that the Respondent is prohibited from contacting the Aggrieved or from going to the Aggrieved’s home or place of work.

If the Aggrieved wishes to continue to spend time with the Respondent, but is otherwise supportive of the Protection Order being made, the Police can agree to the inclusion of an exemption clause in the Order, for example that the Respondent is prohibited from contacting the Aggrieved except with the written consent of the Aggrieved.

If you would like more information about your rights and obligations, either as a Respondent or an Aggrieved to an Application for Protection Order, contact our office to make an appointment today on 07 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.

Lara Tom, Solicitor, Wallace & Wallace Lawyers Mackay

Lara Tom
Solicitor
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man asleep at the wheel of a car

Drink Driving Charges

Can I be charged with drink driving, if I wasn’t actually driving?

A person may be charged with drink driving if they are over the legal blood alcohol limit and they are:-

  1. driving a motor vehicle, tram, train or vessel; or
  2. attempting to put in motion a motor vehicle, tram, train or vessel; or
  3. in charge of a motor vehicle, tram, train or vessel.

You can therefore be charged with a drink driving offence if you were in charge of a vehicle, not just if you were driving.

What does ‘in charge’ of a motor vehicle mean?

A person is “in charge” of a vehicle if the person has the ability to exercise physical control over the vehicle.  This is a broad definition, and may include situations such as:-

  • sitting in an idling vehicle;
  • sitting in a stationary vehicle while in possession of the keys; and
  • sleeping behind the wheel of a stationary vehicle.

What if I wasn’t in charge of the vehicle?

You may be able to contest the charge if you are able to demonstrate that you did not intend to drive and/or that you were not otherwise in charge of the vehicle.  For example, if you were a passenger in the vehicle and had no control over the vehicle.

It is important that you seek immediate legal advice should you intend to contest the charge on this basis.

Penalties

The penalties for drink driving include the imposition of a fine or term of imprisonment and license disqualification.  There are mandatory disqualification periods for drink driving offences in Queensland.  The penalty (and also disqualification) you receive will depend on your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) and whether you have been convicted of a similar offence in the past.  You are able to read more about penalties and disqualification periods for drink driving offences in our article, Drink Driving Penalties and Disqualification Periods.

For more information on the penalties for drink driving or to discuss contesting the charge, please contact our office on 07 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.

Brittany Colussi, Solicitor, Wallace & Wallace Lawyers Mackay

Brittany Colussi
Solicitor
Criminal Law

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Remove a Licence
Disqualification Period

Licence Disqualification

The Court must disqualify you from holding or obtaining a Queensland driver licence if you are convicted of certain offences.  Offences that are subject to a mandatory period of licence disqualification include:

  • drink driving;
  • failing to provide a specimen; and
  • driving with a relevant drug in your system.

There are several other offences that may result in the Court disqualifying your licence.  For example, the Court may decide to disqualify your licence if you have been convicted of careless driving.  However, licence disqualification in those circumstances is not mandatory.

To learn more about whether you will lose your licence, read our article Am I Going to Lose My Licence.

How do I get my licence back?

If you are disqualified by the Court, your licence will be cancelled.  You will need to go to the Department of Transport and Main Roads to apply for a new licence at the end of the specified period.

If you have been disqualified for more than 2 years, you may be able to apply to have the remaining time removed.

Can I remove the remaining disqualification period?

You are only able to make an application to remove the remaining licence disqualification period in certain circumstances.  You must:-

  • Have had a licence disqualification period of more than 2 years imposed; and
  • Have served at least 2 years of the licence disqualification.

You may then be able to apply to remove the remaining disqualification period.  If you are successful, you can apply for a new licence.

How do I make an application to have the licence disqualification removed?

You must make an application to the Court that has disqualified you.

You complete your application and supporting material.  Your supporting material should include your traffic history, criminal history and an affidavit setting out your personal circumstances.  You will need to show that there are good grounds for the licence disqualification being removed.

Your application must be filed at the relevant Court and you will be required to pay a filing fee.  You may also need to serve the application on the prosecutor.  Your application will then be allocated a hearing date, when the Court will decide your application.

What happens if I am successful?

If you are successful, your application will be granted, and the remaining licence disqualification period will be removed.  You will need to attend the Department of Transport and Main Roads to apply for a new licence.  You are not able to drive until you have been issued a new licence.

What happens if I am not successful?

If you are not successful, your application will be dismissed.  You will be required to wait 12 months before bringing a further application to remove the remaining licence disqualification period.

Please do not hesitate to contact one of our local experts on 07 4963 2000 or via our online contact form if you are considering applying to remove a disqualification period.  We will be more than happy to assist.

Cassandra Adorni-Braccesi Solicitor, Wallace & Wallace Lawyers Mackay

Cassandra Adorni-Braccesi
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What is a Police Banning Notice?

A Police Banning Notice may be issued by the police if you are behaving in a disorderly, offensive or violent manner in proximity to a licensed venue.  The Police Banning Notice will ban you from a specific area or event, by stopping you from entering or remaining at:-

  • a licensed premise (such as a bar or nightclub);
  • a safe night precinct (such as the CBD of Mackay or another town);
  • a public event where alcohol is sold; or
  • an area surrounding one of the above areas.

The police are required to explain the notice to you.  The Police Banning Notice will then take effect immediately.  The notice will generally remain in place for a period of 10 days or until the event you are banned from is finished.  However, in some circumstances the Police Banning Notice can be extended for up to 3 months.

What is the Mackay Safe Night District?

If you are issued a Police Banning Notice while in the Mackay CBD (at a nightclub or hotel), you will often be banned from attending the Mackay Safe Night District.  The Mackay Safe Night District is bordered by Milton Street, Shakespeare Street, Tennyson Street and the Pioneer River.  If you are subject to a Police Banning Notice, you are not able to enter this area.

The Police Banning Notice will usually only prevent you from entering the area at night  and you will generally be able to enter this area during the day.  However, this is not always the case and it is important that you understand and comply with the conditions of your Police Banning Notice.

What happens if I do not obey the Police Banning Notice?

The police can distribute the Police Banning Notice to venues and events, to ensure compliance.  The Police Banning Notice will also be linked to identification scanners at licensed venues.  Should you attempt to enter a premise fitted with identification scanners, the police will be automatically notified.

It is an offence to breach a Police Banning Notice, unless you have a reasonable excuse for failing to comply.

Do I have to go to Court if I ignore the Police Banning Notice?

You will be required to attend Court if you are charged with breaching a Police Banning Notice.

The maximum penalty the Court can impose is a fine of 60 penalty units (as at 1 July 2018 a single penalty unit had a value of $130.55 which equates to a maximum fine of $7,833.00).  You can find out more information about penalty units here.

You will also be required to pay the Offender Levy, in addition to any other fine that is imposed.  You can find out more information about the Offender Levy here.

You can contact our office on 07 4963 2000 or via our online contact form if you would like to speak to our experienced team regarding your Police Banning Notice.

Cassandra Adorni-Braccesi Solicitor, Wallace & Wallace Lawyers Mackay

Cassandra Adorni-Braccesi
Associate
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What is Public Nuisance?

Public nuisance is described as a person behaving in a disorderly, offensive, threatening or violent manner that interferes with the peaceful enjoyment of a public area.  There are numerous examples of behaviour that would be considered public nuisance, including:-

  • using inappropriate or explicit language;
  • threatening or disrupting a person or group;
  • encouraging others to engage in a fight;
  • being intoxicated and disturbing others;
  • behaving in a manner that causes another to be intimidated or threatened.

The offence is broad in nature.  You should seek legal advice if you have been charged with this offence.

Do I have to go to court if I have been charged with public nuisance?

Yes, you will be required to attend Court if you are charged with this offence.  It is considered a ‘simple offence’, which means that your matter will be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

What is the penalty for public nuisance?

The maximum penalty is a fine of 10 penalty units, or a period of imprisonment of 6 months.  The current value of a penalty unit is currently $130.55 (as of 1 July 2018).  Therefore the maximum fine that is able to be imposed by the Court is $1,305.50.

You will also be required to pay the Offender Levy on conviction.  You can find out more information regarding the Offender Levy here.

Will I go to jail?

The penalty will be reliant on the facts of your particular matter and your previous history.  If you have prior criminal history, it is particularly important that you receive legal advice as to the penalty that is likely to be imposed by the Court.

What do I do if I get charged with public nuisance?

We recommend that you seek legal advice if you have been charged with this offence.  Court can be stressful, and it is important that you receive legal advice before your matter proceeds.

Getting legal advice, and representation at Court, will ensure the Court understands any mitigating features in your favour.  This can result in a lesser penalty being imposed.  We are also able to seek (in some circumstances) that no conviction be recorded on your criminal history for the offence.

You can contact our office on 07 4963 2000 or via our online contact form if you would like to speak to our solicitors regarding public nuisance.

Cassandra Adorni-Braccesi Solicitor, Wallace & Wallace Lawyers Mackay

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Offender Levy

The Offender Levy is a fee payable on sentence.  The Offender Levy is used to help pay for the costs associated with Court.

Every adult sentenced in Queensland must pay the Offender Levy.  You are not able to appeal the imposition of the Offender Levy, as it is a mandatory levy applied to all adults who are convicted of an offence in Queensland.  You must pay the Offender Levy whether or not a conviction is recorded for a particular offence.

The payment of the Offender Levy, and its impact on you, cannot be taken into account in determining your sentence.

How much is the Offender Levy?

The Offender Levy is prescribed in section 10 of the Penalties and Sentences Regulation 2005 (Queensland).  The current prescribed Offender Levy (as at April 2019) is $123.00 if you are convicted in the Magistrates Court and $368.90 if you are convicted in the District or Supreme Court.

How do I pay the Offender Levy?

You are able to pay the Offender Levy at the Court Registry following your sentence.

If you do not pay the Offender Levy at the time of sentence, you will receive an enforcement order from the State Penalties Enforcement Register (SPER).  SPER will provide further payment options for your Offender Levy.  It is likey that you would be able to negotiate a payment plan with SPER, if you are unable to pay the Offender Levy in full.

If you would like more information regarding the Offender Levy, please contact our office on 07 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.

Cassandra Adorni-Braccesi Solicitor, Wallace & Wallace Lawyers Mackay

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