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Other Criminal Offences

There are many charges that do not fit neatly into a category of offending.  We have outlined some of those offences on this page.

Criminal and traffic matters are complex areas of law in Queensland, with a countless number of possible charges.  Although we have provided information about more common offences, there are many criminal and traffic matters that are not contained on our website.

We represent clients in relation to all matters, and have represented clients with respect to both common and unusual charges.  If you have been charged with any offence please contact our experienced criminal and traffic lawyers to discuss your matter.

We can assist you with:

Wilful Damage

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Public Nuisance

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Trespass

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Stalking Offences

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Bans and Banning Orders

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Court Representation

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Wilful Damage

You may be charged with wilful damage if you damage property without the consent of the owner.  The damage does not need to be significant, or permanent, for you to be charged with wilful damage.

The offence of wilful damage is broad and there are many examples of behaviour that can result in you being charged with wilful damage.  For example, you may be charged with wilful damage if you:-

  • break a windscreen or window;
  • damage a door or security screen;
  • damage a mobile telephone;
  • cause damage to a sign; or
  • key a vehicle.

It is likely you will be required to pay restitution to the owner of the property if you are charged with wilful damage, in addition to any other penalty imposed by the Court.

Being charged with wilful damage can have a significant impact on you.  We are able to provide you detailed advice in relation to your charges, and ensure you understand all of your options in progressing your matter.

What Court will my charges be heard in?

Most wilful damage matters will be heard before the Magistrates Court.  However, there are some circumstances where your charge may be heard before the District or Supreme Court.

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What is the maximum penalty for wilful damage?

The penalty that can be imposed for your wilful damage offence is dependent on the damage caused, and whether any aggravating circumstances apply.

The penalties for wilful damage are as follows:-

 

OFFENCE MAXIMUM PENALTY
Wilful damage 5 years imprisonment
Wilful damage to an educational institution 7 years imprisonment
Wilful damage to a grave 7 years imprisonment
Wilful damage to property to a public place by graffiti 7 years imprisonment.
Wilful damage to a vessel that is distressed, wrecked or stranded 7 years imprisonment
Wilful damage a railway 14 years imprisonment
Wilful damage to an aircraft 14 years imprisonment
Wilful damage of a will or testamentary instrument 14 years imprisonment
Wilful damage to a premise by an explosion, with a person present at the premise or a threat to life Life imprisonment
Wilful damage of a sea or inland wall Life imprisonment

 

You may also be required to pay restitution to the owner of the property if you are charged with wilful damage, in addition to any other penalty imposed.

It is important you seek legal advice about your matter, and the penalty that will apply in your particular circumstances.

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Why seek legal advice?

You may face a significant penalty should you be charged with wilful damage.  You may also be required to pay a substantial amount of restitution to the owner of the property.  We will ensure you understand the offence and penalty likely to be imposed on you.  We will provide you all of your options to progress your matter and deliver easy to understand legal advice.

If you have been charged with wilful damage and would like legal advice, please contact our experienced criminal lawyers to discuss your matter on (07) 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.

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Stalking Offences

You may be charged with stalking if you direct your attention to another person, and that person considers your attention to be threatening or harassing.  Stalking can involve a broad range of behaviour.  It may be considered stalking if you:-

  • contact a person;
  • send gifts to a person;
  • intimidate, harass or threaten a person; or
  • follow a person.

It is a common misconception that behaviour has to be repeated to be considered stalking.  This is incorrect.  You can be charged with stalking in relation to a single incident if you cause the other person reasonable apprehension or fear, or cause detriment to the other person.

Stalking is a serious criminal offence in Queensland, and may result in a period of imprisonment.  You should seek legal advice if you are charged with stalking.  We are able to explain your matter to you and ensure you understand the charge, the likely penalty and your options for progressing the matter.  We are able to appear on your behalf and ensure the Court understands any mitigating features in your favour.  This can result in a lesser penalty being imposed.

What if I did not mean to scare the person?

It does not matter whether you intended to cause the other person fear or apprehension.  It is sufficient that your behaviour was deliberately directed at the person, and a reasonable person in their shoes would have felt fear or apprehension.

You should seek legal advice if you believe your conduct does not amount to stalking.  We are able to explain the charge to you, and determine whether any defences may apply in your circumstances.

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What Court will my matter be heard in?

Your matter will be heard in the District Court.

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What is the maximum penalty for stalking?

The maximum penalty for stalking is five years imprisonment.  There are some circumstances that “aggravate” the charge.  This can result in a much more significant penalty being imposed.

If you have been charged with stalking and would like legal advice, please contact our experienced criminal lawyers to discuss your matter on (07) 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.

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Public Nuisance

Public nuisance relates to conduct that interferes with use of a public place.  You may be charged with public nuisance if your behaviour in a public place:-

  • is disorderly, offensive, threatening or violent; or
  • interferes with another person’s peaceful passage through, or enjoyment of, the public place.

A public place is any space used by the public, such as parks, footpaths and bus stops.  The definition of a public place includes some areas that charge an admission fee.

The offence of public nuisance is broad, and a variety of different circumstances can result in you being charged with public nuisance.  For example, you may be charged with public nuisance if you:-

  • use inappropriate or explicit language; or
  • threaten or disrupt a person or group; or
  • are intoxicated and disturb others.

You should seek legal advice if you are charged with public nuisance.  We are able to provide you detailed advice in relation to your charges, and ensure you understand the penalty likely to be imposed on you if you are convicted of the offence.

What Court will my matter be heard in?

Your matter will be heard in the Magistrates Court.

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What is the maximum penalty for public nuisance offences?

The maximum penalty for committing a public nuisance offence is 6 months imprisonment, or a fine of 10 penalty units.  You will also be required to pay the Offender Levy if you are convicted of this offence.

The penalty that will be imposed is dependent on the facts of your matter and your previous history.  It is particularly important you obtain legal advice if you have been convicted of public nuisance in the past.  You should also seek legal advice if you have been convicted of a similar offence in the past.  For example:-

  • being charged with public nuisance for drunk and disorderly behaviour, with a history of drink driving or other alcohol related offences; or
  • being charged with public nuisance for behaving in a violent manner, with a history of assault or other violent offences.

In these circumstances, the penalty imposed on you may be more severe.  It is important you seek legal advice should you have a history of similar offending.

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Do I need to see a lawyer?

You should seek legal advice if you have been charged with public nuisance.  We are able to explain your matter to you and ensure you understand the charge, the likely penalty and your options for progressing the matter.

We are able to appear on your behalf and 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.  This can minimise the impact of this offence on your future.

If you have been charged with public nuisance seek legal advice as soon as possible, contact us on (07) 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.

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Bans and Banning Orders

A ban is a sanction that prevents you from entering a particular place or venue.  A ban is ordinarily imposed due to inappropriate behaviour at a venue or licensed premises.

There are three types of bans in Queensland:-

  • a ban imposed by a specific venue (or group of venues);
  • a Banning Order imposed by a court; and
  • a Banning Order imposed by the police.

It is important you understand the type of ban that applies to you if you have been banned from a place or premises.  This will help you comply with the conditions of the ban, and understand the penalties that apply should you breach the ban.

Venue Imposed Bans

A venue can impose a ban if you behave in a manner that is violent or inappropriate.  The ban can result in you being removed from the premises, and refused entry to the venue in the future.  In some circumstances, the ban may apply to a group of venues (usually within a safe night precinct).

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Police Banning Notice

The police may issue a Police Banning Notice if you are behaving in a disorderly, offensive or violent manner in the proximity of a licensed venue.

The Police Banning Notice will ban you from a specific area or event.  You may be banned 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 mentioned areas.

The police will issue the Police Banning Notice to you in person.  You will ordinarily be required to leave the venue or area on receipt of the Police Banning Notice.

How long can a Police Banning Notice last?

A Police Banning Notice can last up to 10 days.  The police must explain the Police Banning Notice to you, including the duration of the ban and the consequences of breaching the Police Banning Notice.  These matters must be explained to you when you receive the Police Banning Notice.

What happens if I breach the Police Banning Notice?

You must comply with the conditions set out in the Police Banning Notice, or you may be charged with breaching the Police Banning Notice.

The maximum penalty for breaching a Police Banning Notice is a fine of 60 penalty units.  The Court may also decide to issue a Banning Order to prevent you from attending a venue or area.

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Court Imposed Banning Order

There are some circumstances where the Court is able to issue a Banning Order.  A Banning Order may issue if you have been convicted of:-

  • trafficking or supplying a dangerous drug; or
  • using or threatening violence to a person or property.

A Banning Order is only able to be imposed if the offence was committed inside a licensed premises (or nearby a licensed premise) or in a public place.

The Banning Order will last up to 12 months in most circumstances.  However, a longer Banning Order may be imposed if you have also been convicted of a criminal offence.

Can I seek to end or amend my Banning Order?

You are able to file an Application to end or amend your Banning Order.  The Application can be filed if you have served at least 6 months of your Banning Order.  You must demonstrate a material change in your circumstances that justifies the Banning Order being revoked or amended.

You should speak to a solicitor if you wish to make an Application to amend or revoke your Banning Order.  We are able to provide advice as to the conditions and duration or your Banning Order, and your Application to revoke that Banning Order.

What is the penalty for contravention of a Banning Order?

The maximum penalty for contravening a Banning Order is one year imprisonment or a fine of 40 penalty units.  It is also possible for the Banning Order to be extended by the Court.

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Do I need to see a lawyer?

It is important you understand the type of ban that has been imposed on you, and the conditions of the ban.  You should seek legal advice if you have any questions about your ban, or if you feel that you are not able to comply with the ban for any reason (such as needing to attend the area for your employment).  This can assist in addressing any issues before a breach occurs.

You should seek legal advice if you have been charged with breaching a Police Banning Notice or a Banning Order.  We will provide easy to understand advice about your options, and ensure you have all of the relevant information to make an informed decision about your matter.  Contact us on (07) 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.

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Trespass

You must have consent of the owner before entering a property.  You may be charged with trespass if you enter a property or business belonging to another person without their consent.

What happens if I was invited onto the property but asked to leave?

Your lawful right to be on the property ends when the owner (or occupier) asks you to leave.  You must therefore leave the property when asked to do so.  You may be charged with trespass should you refuse to leave the property.

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In what Court will my matter be heard?

Your matter will be heard before the Magistrates Court.

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What is the maximum penalty for trespass

The maximum penalty for trespassing is 12 months imprisonment or a fine of 20 penalty units.

The penalty that will be imposed is dependent on the facts of your matter and your previous history.  It is particularly important you obtain legal advice if you have been convicted of trespass in the past.  You should also seek legal advice if you have been convicted of other property related offences in the past, such as:-

  • stealing;
  • break and enter;
  • unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

The penalty imposed on you may be more severe if you have a history of property related offences.  It is important you seek legal advice should you have a history of similar offending.

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Do I need to see a lawyer?

You should seek legal advice if you have been charged with trespass.  We are able to explain your matter to you and ensure you understand the charge, the likely penalty and your options for progressing the matter.  We are able to appear on your behalf and ensure the Court understands any mitigating features in your favour.  This can result in a lesser penalty being imposed.

The offence of trespass being recorded on your criminal history can have an impact on your future employment.  We are able to seek (in certain circumstances) that no conviction be recorded on your criminal history.  This can minimise the impact of this offence on your future.

Contact our experienced criminal lawyers to discuss your matter on (07) 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.

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Why it’s important to get advice

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 would like legal advice about your matter, or for our office to represent you, please contact our office on (07) 4963 2000 or via our online contact form.

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