What You Need to Know About Dangerous Drugs in Queensland

Queensland is renowned for many things, including its fantastic climate, beautiful beaches and resorts. Collectively these attributes make the ‘Sunshine State’ a desirable place to live, and a national and international tourist destination.

Accordingly, there are strict rules in place to protect residents and visitors. In fact, Queensland has some of the toughest drug laws in Australia. Being charged with a dangerous drugs offence here brings the potential for significant punishment upon conviction. This makes it imperative for anyone facing such charges to enlist the help of a qualified defence lawyer as soon as possible.

Offering many years of experience in the field of criminal law, the legal team at Bosscher Lawyers is fully prepared to help if you find yourself involved in a drug matter. Here are some important things you need to know about dangerous drugs in Queensland.

What is a dangerous drug?

For starters, you’ve got to understand how the authorities define “dangerous drugs”. The official definition can be found in the Drugs Misuse Regulations 1987 (Qld), which actually separates them into two categories (Schedule 1 and Schedule 2).

Schedule 1 drugs include but are not limited to:

  • Cocaine
  • Acid (LSD)
  • Heroin
  • Ecstasy (MDMA)
  • Methamphetamine

Examples of Schedule 2 drugs are:

  • Cannabis
  • Opium
  • Barbituates
  • Tranquilizers or benzodiazepines

It’s crucial to understand the difference because Schedule 1 drug offences tend to carry harsher penalties. This is because is the listed drugs pose a greater risk to the general public.

What qualifies as drug possession in Queensland?

In Queensland, state laws prohibit the possession of any dangerous drug.  However the term “possession” is broadly defined when used in this context. You may be accused of drug possession if:

  • You are aware that the substance in question exists and have control over it. You must also be aware, or have reason to believe, that the substance in question is a drug.
  • You meet the criteria specified above, but the drug/s belong to someone else.
  • The substance is discovered in your vehicle, residence or any other property that you are in control of, even if it is not found on your person.
  • You are aware or have reason to believe that there are drugs in a location that you frequent, even if the drugs don’t belong to you.
  • You meet the criteria specified in any of the previous bullet points, even though you didn’t buy, use or intend to use the substance in question.

Activity classified as illicit drug supply

Numerous activities can also be classified as illicit drug supply under Queensland law. It is important to note that you don’t have to give someone drugs in return for money (or anything else of value) to be charged with supplying drugs. All you have to do is give some drugs to someone else, or offer to do so without actually relinquishing anything.

Technically, supplying illicit drugs includes the following:

  • Selling, dispensing, providing, distributing, or transporting drugs;
  • consenting or volunteering to do any of those things;
  • preparing to dispense, provide, distribute, sell, transport or supply drugs.

Penalties upon conviction for these activities depend on several factors. These include drug quantity, who receives it, and whether the supplier benefited (financially or otherwise).

Aggravating factors – circumstances that add to the severity of the crime and carry harsher penalties – generally include those in which the supplier:

  • Is an adult who provides the drugs to a minor or an intellectually challenged individual;
  • provides drugs to someone who is incarcerated, or in a school, university, etc.; or
  • provides it to someone who is unaware of what it is.

Drug trafficking

A point of law that is often confusing to the general public is the difference between drug supply and drug trafficking. Hence the terms are sometimes used interchangeably.

However, there is a difference and charges vary accordingly. The key difference between supplying drugs and drug trafficking is that the latter involves the on-going supply so as to constitute a business. It is important to note not all business are profitable, therefore the lack of profits does not necessarily mean a person cannot be convicted of trafficking.

The provision of drugs in this context is often – but not always – coordinated through street gangs or similar criminal organisations. Individuals are subject to drug trafficking charges simply for buying drugs to sell to their mates.

You should also be aware that there are usually tougher sanctions upon conviction for trafficking because it is done for profit. For instance, trafficking in Schedule 1 drugs such as cocaine or heroin carries a maximum punishment of 25 years imprisonment.

Illegal drug production

In Queensland, it is not only illegal to provide and possess dangerous drugs, it is also illegal to cultivate and produce them.

Under applicable laws, cultivating illegal plants is broadly defined as any activity associated with their growth and care. This means that something as simple as watering one could be legally defined as cultivation, and you could be charged accordingly.

On the other hand, illegal drug production includes any activity associated with the manufacturing process. This includes but is not necessarily limited to preparation, assembly and/or packaging, or volunteering to assist with any aspects of the process.

You can be charged with a drug production offence no matter how limited or extensive your participation is. However, the extent of your participation, along with the quantity of drugs, generally determines your punishment.

Under Queensland law, you can also be charged with publishing or even having a formula for the production of an illegal or dangerous drug. If convicted, you face up to 25 years imprisonment for a Schedule 1 drug, or 20 years for a Schedule 2 drug.

Additional drug offences

In Queensland you can also be charged with a criminal offence if you are caught with drug paraphernalia or suspected drug paraphernalia. You can also be charged with a criminal offence if you allow a dwelling, building or property to be used for any purpose related to the use, sale, possession, distribution or production of drugs.

If you are facing any sort of dangerous drug charges, your freedom and your future are at stake. Contact us today on 1300 729 316 to learn how we can help you.

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What You Need to Know About Drug Driving Charges

Just like drink driving, drug driving can have devastating consequences. In a worst case scenario it can cause a catastrophic or fatal crash. And because it jeopardizes innocent lives, motorists who knowingly (or unknowingly) engage in this activity face harsh punishments when they are caught. Here’s what you should know about drug driving charges in Queensland.

Queensland’s drug driving laws

Under the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995, there are two general classifications for drug driving offences in Queensland.  The first is Driving Under the Influence of a Drug. The second category is Drug Driving (with Relevant Drug Present).

Driving under the influence of a drug

To charge a motorist with the former, police must have sufficient reason to believe that he or she is affected by one or more drugs while driving. In many cases, erratic driving such as swerving, speeding, or failing to obey traffic signs, alerts police that something is amiss. In others, police arrive at an accident scene to find a seemingly uninjured driver acting strangely. In either case, police rely upon experience, training and personal observations of a driver’s behaviour and appearance to determine that he or she is likely affected by drugs at the time. Blood tests may also be administered in an effort to confirm an officer’s suspicions.

In this context, it is important to note that it doesn’t matter whether you are under the influence of a legal (prescription or over the counter) or illegal drug while driving.  A positive blood test coupled with other evidence will likely result in conviction.

Drug driving (relevant drug present)

As detailed in section 79(2AA) of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995, someone can be charged with this offence if they have drug residue in their blood or saliva.

In most cases, police use a roadside saliva swab test to detect the presence of drug residue. These tests are specifically designed to react with ingredients of certain drugs and immediately yield a ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ result. If there is a positive finding, additional evaluation and assessment is generally done to confirm the presence of the active ingredients in marijuana, ecstasy, or speed/ice.

Having said that, police can test for the active ingredients in other illegal drugs. And although they don’t use field kits to detect ‘legal’ drugs, the detection of prescription medicines such as Methadone and Pethidine isn’t unheard of.

Therefore it is important to consult your physician or healthcare provider about how long any traces of prescription medicines will remain in your system and how the use of prescription medicine may affect your ability to drive before you get behind the wheel.

Doing so is especially important because drug driving with a relevant drug present is a strict liability offence. This means that there are minimum standards of proof required for the charge to ‘stick’. Police and prosecutors don’t even have to prove that the amount of drug residue found in the driver’s system meets or exceeds a certain threshold. In fact, the only real evidence required to secure a conviction is a positive test result.

Punishment upon conviction

In general, the types of punishment you may face upon conviction for these offences include:

  • fines;
  • imprisonment;
  • loss of driving privileges.

The severity of the punishment depends on a few factors, including your past convictions for other, unrelated traffic offences (if any); or prior convictions for the same offence you are now charged with.

Within this context, you should be aware that Section 187 of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 (Qld) gives a court the power to rescind your driving privileges for life if you are convicted of an offence connected with driving a vehicle. You should also be aware that this applies to first-time and repeat offenders, regardless of the mandatory disqualification period specified by law. However, a court can only impose a lifetime ban if it believes that doing so is ‘in the interests of justice’.

Something else to keep in mind regarding disqualification periods is that they must be served cumulatively, not concurrently. This means you must finish serving one before you start serving the other; you cannot serve both at once.

Punishment upon conviction for DUI-Drug

The range of punishments for DUI-Drug offences in Queensland are as follows:

First offence of DUI of a drug: If you haven’t been convicted of any major traffic offences in the past five years, you face up to nine months in jail and/or a fine of $3,298 (28 penalty units).

The court must disqualify you for at least six months, and can extend this period depending on the specific circumstances of your case.

Second offence of DUI of a drug: If this was your second significant traffic offence within the past five years, you face up to 18 months in jail and/or a fine of $7,068 (60 penalty units).

Upon conviction, the Court must disqualify you for at least one year, but may extend this period at its discretion.

Third or subsequent offence of DUI of a drug: If this was your third or subsequent major traffic offence within the past five years, you face up to 18 months in jail and/or a fine of $7,068 (60 penalty units). You will also lose your driving privileges for at least two years, but the court may increase this period at its discretion.

Punishment upon conviction for Driving With a Relevant Drug Present

The range of punishments upon conviction for Drug Driving – Relevant Drug Present are as follows:

First offence of Drive with Relevant Drug Present: If this was your first offence, you face up to three months imprisonment and/or a$1,649 fine (14 penalty units). You also face disqualification for at least one month.

Second offence of Drive with Relevant Drug Present: If this was your second offence within five years, you face up to six months in jail and/or a $2,356 fine (20 penalty units). You also face disqualification for at least three months.

Third (and subsequent) offence of Drive with Relevant Drug Present: For a third, and any subsequent, offence within five years, you face up to nine months in jail and/or a $3,298 fine (28 penalty units). You also face disqualification for at least six months.

You need an experienced lawyer to mount a successful defence

Clearly, these are very serious charges. If you are convicted, you will undoubtedly lose your driving privileges, spend time in jail, and end up paying some staggering fines. With the help of an experienced criminal lawyer Brisbane, however, you may be able to avoid these penalties. Don’t leave anything to chance. Contact us to learn more about how we may be able to help you today.

Driving While Suspended or Disqualified in Queensland: What You Need to Know

For Australians, the ability to drive legally is essential. A valid driving licence allows us to get to work and school, to get groceries, to get to the doctor, and to places of worship. In rural Queensland, the ability to drive without running afoul of the law provides a vital link between neighbours. But the bottom line is that driving is a privilege, not a right. This is why driving while your licence is suspended or disqualified is so serious. Here’s what you should know about these offences.

Driving on a suspended licence in Queensland

Under the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995, it is illegal to drive on a public road in Queensland without a valid driver’s licence. This means you can be punished if police catch you driving on a public road while your licence to operate a motor vehicle is suspended or expired. To be convicted of driving on a suspended licence, there must be sufficient proof that:

  • you were driving a motor vehicle on a public road; and
  • you did not hold a valid driver’s licence; and
  • you did not hold a valid driver’s licence in Queensland because it was suspended.

If you are convicted, the extent of your punishment will depend on your specific circumstances, including any mitigating or aggravating factors.

Driving whilst disqualified in Queensland

Aside from sending someone to jail or prison, disqualification is one of the harshest punishments a Queensland judge or magistrate can impose for certain traffic offences. When someone’s licence is ‘disqualified’, it is confiscated and their driving privileges are revoked for a specified period. In such cases, they must apply for a new licence once that time has elapsed.

To be clear, you cannot drive once your driver’s licence is disqualified. One exception to this is if you qualify for and obtain a restricted driver’s licence (ie: for work-related purposes). If you don’t have one and the police catch you driving on a public road, they can charge you with driving whilst disqualified.

Again, the penalties that may be imposed upon conviction will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. Mitigating and aggravating factors will be considered.

Penalties for driving on a suspended licence and driving whilst disqualified

In Queensland, someone convicted of driving on a suspended licence faces the same penalties as someone convicted of driving without a valid licence. If this was your first offence, you could end up paying a $4,400 fine and spending up to a year in jail.

However, you should be aware that you may be able to avoid going to jail if you haven’t committed a similar offence within the last five years. This is because police have some discretion in these circumstances. Specifically, they can issue a maximum fine of $4,400 if they so choose.

On the other hand, Magistrates Courts, which usually hear these matters, don’t have any leeway regarding disqualifications. If you are found guilty of driving while your licence is suspended, your licence will be confiscated for a maximum of six months. It does not matter if you have received any other punishment in connection with the offence.

Because the offence is so serious, the penalties for driving whilst disqualified tend to be severe. At the very least, your driver’s licence will be confiscated for two to five years. You may also end up paying hefty fines and going to jail for up to 18 months.

You need experienced Queensland criminal lawyers to fight for you

If you have been charged with driving on a suspended licence or driving whilst disqualified in Queensland, you need a qualified lawyer on your side. Our criminal law team can quickly assess your situation and devise an effective defence. Depending on your specific circumstances, we may argue that:

  • you actually had  a valid licence at the time of the offence;
  • you were not driving on a public road as defined by law at the time of the offence;
  • you were suspended from driving on valid grounds and/or there is a dispute as to the validity of your  licence;
  • you had to drive because you were being threatened with violence or you were otherwise under significant duress;
  • you had to drive because of an extreme emergency (a matter of life and death) or a similar situation.

With your livelihood and your freedom at stake, there is no time to waste. Contact our criminal lawyers Brisbane to learn more about how we can help you today.

Will a Conviction Be Recorded Against Me?

When a person is convicted of an offence, whether it is a serious or relatively minor offence, the effect on their life can be profound. Even after serving your sentence, paying your fines, and accepting the punishment imposed upon you by the court, you may continue to face the stigma that can be attached to those with a criminal record.

The effects of a criminal conviction

You may be asked to disclose your criminal history in everyday situations including: certain licence applications, job applications, rental agreements and blue card applications.  Often, having a criminal history can affect your eligibility for a job by colouring the opinion of the person reviewing your application. The legal system does allow individuals to keep their criminal history to themselves after a certain period of time has passed.

Spent convictions

‘Spent’ convictions are convictions which no longer have to be disclosed because enough time has lapsed since the conviction. The time that must pass in order for a conviction to be ‘spent’ will depend on the court in which the person was convicted.

Magistrates Court

If you were convicted in the Magistrates Court, you do not have to disclosure your conviction if:

  • the conviction was five or more years ago;
  • you did not serve a term of imprisonment, or your term of imprisonment was for 30 months or less;
  • you have fulfilled all other court orders in relation to the sentence;
  • you have not been convicted of another offence within the five years since your initial conviction; and
  • no exceptions apply.

If all of these requirements are met, your conviction will be considered ‘spent’ and there will no longer be an obligation to disclose.

District or Supreme Court

Similarly, if you were convicted in the District or Supreme Court, you will no longer be required to disclose your conviction if:

  • the conviction was 10 or more years ago;
  • you did not serve a term of imprisonment, or your term of imprisonment was for 30 months or less;
  • you have fulfilled all other court orders in relation to that sentence;
  • you have not been convicted of another offence within the 10 years since your initial conviction; and
  • no exceptions apply.

If all of these requirements are met, your conviction will be considered ‘spent’ and there will no longer be an obligation to disclose.


Even when all other criteria are met, you may still be required to disclose your criminal history if one of the many exceptions apply.

The exceptions listed in the Criminal Law (Rehabilitation of Offenders Act) 1986 (Qld) are too numerous to list in this article however, it is important to note that people in certain positions have disclosure obligations that relate to the terms of their employment and their professional responsibilities. People employed within the Department of Education or the criminal justice system such as police and Justices of the Peace need to be especially aware of their obligations in this regard.

If you or someone you love has been convicted of a crime and needs advice as to their disclosure obligations, an experienced lawyer will be able to help you determine if any exceptions exist, so please contact our criminal lawyers Brisbane one as soon as possible.

Five Ways To Reduce Legal Fees

Let’s be honest. One of the single biggest factors, if not the biggest factor, that prevents people from seeking legal representation is the cost. But what people sometimes fail to consider is that by not obtaining proper legal advice and representation, their matter can often end up being more expensive in the long-term. With that said, here are five ways to reduce your legal fees.

Exercise discretion

Being involved in a court case of any kind can be incredibly stressful so it’s understandable if you are anxious. However, it’s important that you don’t bombard your lawyer with constant requests for updates by email or phone. A qualified and experienced legal professional will keep you fully informed of any relevant developments. Another point to keep in mind is that a good lawyer will also welcome questions about specific issues or concerns.

Be prepared

Time is money for you and your lawyer, especially if they are billing by the hour. You can minimise the amount of time spent in meetings with your lawyer by being prepared. But what does this actually mean?

Simply put, it means you should do the following:

  • Ask your lawyer what, if anything, you should bring to the meeting, and act accordingly.
  • If you bring a stack of unorganised papers, you or your lawyer will end up wasting valuable time sorting through it during the conference. Once you know what your lawyer needs, organise the documents by subject matter or date. If you need to keep the originals, make the copies yourself.
  • Think carefully about what you’d like to discuss with your lawyer prior to the meeting. Put those thoughts in writing (a list is a good idea), and don’t forget to bring your notes to the meeting or conference.
  • Be sure to arrive at the meeting on time, or even a few minutes early. By doing so you will give yourself time to catch your breath. If need be, you can use the time to jot down a few last-minute thoughts. This will also allow you to make the most of the available time that you do have with your lawyer.

Ask your lawyer if you can do some of your own research

More often than not, lawyers must devote a significant amount of time to researching various aspects of their clients’ cases. While they are well-equipped to do so, there might be some factual research that you can do, too. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you might be able to help by locating information or witnesses. You may also be able to create a timeline or draft statements regarding the facts of your case.

As long as you don’t bombard your lawyer with tons of completely irrelevant material, your lawyer will probably appreciate your efforts. Better yet, you’ll effectively reduce your legal fees because your lawyer won’t have to do the research.

Don’t let your emotions get the best of you

Being a party to a legal matter is an emotional experience. It doesn’t matter if you are involved in a business dispute, a family matter or any other civil or criminal matter. You may be angry, frustrated, stressed, overwhelmed or frightened. However, it’s important that you don’t let your emotions get the best of you, especially when it comes to making important decisions. If you do, you may make choices that delay the resolution of the matter (costing you more in legal fees), or cause the court to award the other party their costs. In a criminal matter, making the wrong choice based on your emotions could mean you have to pay more in fines, or spend more time in jail.

Be honest with your lawyer, no matter what

Don’t be surprised if there are times when your lawyer asks you a question that you’d really rather not answer. Depending on the question, you may feel embarrassed or concerned that it could harm your case.

But when all is said and done, your lawyer’s job is to help you. Failing to disclose important information or details when asked could not only unnecessarily delay your case (resulting in more fees and costs) but it could even wreck your case completely (meaning you’ll just end up wasting your money).

Consequently, it is extremely important that you are always open and honest with your lawyer. If you don’t feel like this is the case with your current lawyer, you may have to switch legal representatives so you can work with someone that makes you more comfortable.

At Bosscher Lawyers, our clients always come first. We also believe in providing honest, efficient and cost-effective advice. To help with the costs of representation, ask us about fixed fees for our services.

To learn more about how we can help you, phone us on  1300 729 316, use our contact page, or send an email to: [email protected]

Police Powers and Responsibilities – Seized Property

Sometimes, police seize property in the course of exercising their duties and investigating crime. If your property has been seized by police, it is important to know your rights and how you can you go about having that property returned.

Hang on to your Field Property Receipt

The Police Powers and Responsibilities Act (PPRA) gives police powers to seize property in certain circumstances. In most circumstances, when a police officer seizes property from a person, they must provide that person with a receipt. This is called a Field Property Receipt and will list the items police have taken. This receipt can help you or your lawyer get your items back so it’s important that you hang on to it.

How long can police keep my stuff?

When a police officer seizes property, that officer is responsible for the safekeeping of the property until it is delivered to a property officer or property point. Unless the property is the subject of a charge, police may retain seized property for up to 30 days. After this time, they will need to obtain an order from a Justice of the Peace or a Magistrate. There are some obvious exceptions to this requirement like property that is perishable or has no intrinsic value.

Without such an order, a police officer MUST return the property to the owner or the person who lawfully had possession of the thing before it was seized. This means that you may be entitled to have property returned to you even if you are not the lawful owner. For example, you do not own property that you borrow or rent but because of the agreement you have with the owner, you have lawful possession of it.

It’s important to remember that the law requires the Commissioner of Police to take reasonable inquiries and efforts to locate persons claiming to be entitled to possession of certain property and facilitate the disposal or return of that property. You are entitled to insist that your property be returned.

Documents you need now…

If police seize documents from you, unless they have an order from a Magistrate or a coroner, they must let you inspect the documents and take extracts or make copies of it. You must be allowed to inspect the document at any reasonable time and from time to time. While this provision relates to documents, it also encompasses computers that store documents. This provision can be helpful if computers or paperwork relating to your business have been seized.

If you or someone close to you has had property seized and would like to discuss arrangements for the return of that property, please contact our Brisbane criminal lawyers today.

Have You Been Charged with Driving Without a Licence?

In Australia, driving isn’t an entitlement or a right. It is a privilege and a responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly. That’s why everyone needs a licence to do it.

But sometimes even honest, law-abiding citizens make mistakes. And in some cases, people just don’t think the rules apply to them. So they end up driving without a valid licence. But what happens if they get caught? Here’s what you need to know about being charged with driving without a licence.

When can you be charged with unlicensed driving?

In Queensland you can be charged with unlicensed driving if the police catch you behind the wheel and:

  • you have never had a licence at all;
  • your licence is expired;
  • you are driving with the wrong type of licence;
  • a doctor has declared you medically unfit to drive;
  • you gave up your licence voluntarily;
  • your licence has been temporarily suspended.
  • A court has disqualified you from holding a licence for a period of time
The penalties for driving without a licence

The punishment that will be imposed if you are convicted of driving without a licence will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. At most you can be sentenced to 18 months imprisonment and 60 penalty points.

An infringement notice may be issued in lieu of a tougher punishment, but only in certain circumstances. Specifically, this type of notice may be issued as long as you haven’t been convicted of driving without a licence in the preceding five years; you have not had your driver’s licence disqualified in the previous two years for drink driving; and you have had a valid driver’s licence before.

Within this context it is also important to note that an infringement notice won’t be issued in your case if:

  • You are interlock driver (an alcohol ignition interlock is a breath test device linked to the ignition system of a vehicle) whose licence was not reinstated after a disqualification period for drink driving; or
  • you are an interlock driver who didn’t have a valid Queensland driver’s licence  when the offence occurred and your interlock period has not ended; or
  • you are an interlock driver whose Queensland driver’s licence had expired more than a month before the offence and your interlock period has not ended.
How your punishment is determined

If you have been convicted of driving without a licence and you are a repeat offender or a disqualified driver, the court weighs several factors when deciding how you should be punished. These typically include:

  • The entirety of your case including any aggravating and mitigating circumstances;
  • the public interest;
  • your criminal and traffic records (if any);
  • relevant information provided to the court about your medical history, mental  or physical impairment or physical ability;
  • if you were driving without a licence during the commission or attempted commission of another offence, and the type of offence;
  • any additional matters of interest to the court.
Driving with a suspended licence

Driving while your licence is suspended is also classified as unlicensed driving. Your licence could be suspended for a short time if you have accumulated too many penalty points for excessive speeding or for failing to pay certain fines. If you were charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, your licence may also be subject to immediate suspension pending determination of the matter.

In any case, you are not allowed to drive while your licence is suspended. If you are caught driving with a suspended license, you will face harsher penalties than other types of unlicensed driving.

Your punishment will be based on the specific circumstances of your case. In other words, it will depend on why your licence was orriginallyvsuspended. If it was suspended for failure to pay certain court ordered fines, you could receive anywhere between a one to six month license disqualification. If it was suspended because you accumulated too many penalty points, or engaged in excessive speeding, you could lose your licence for six months. All of these situations can also carry the maximum fine of 40 penalty units, or imprisonment of up to one year.

If you are caught driving on an immediate suspension your punishment could be a two to five-year licence disqualification, maximum fine of 40 penalty units, and a prison sentence of up to one year.

Driving with a recently expired licence

A ‘recently expired licence’ can be legally classified as one that lapsed less than a year prior to the commission of the offence; or as one that was rescinded (as a result of a physical or mental ailment that renders you unable to drive) less than a year prior to the commission of the offence.

If you have been charged with driving on a recently expired driver’s licence, a police officer may grant you a permit that allows you to drive to a specific location where you can safely store your vehicle.

Keep in mind that to be valid, this permit must:

  • Be in an acceptable form;
  • indicate the infringement notice number;
  • state the duration, which cannot exceed 24 hours, for which it is issued;
  • stipulate the conditions, if any, on which it is issued.

If you have been charged with driving without a licence, it is important to get sound legal advice as soon as possible. Contact our Brisbane Criminal Lawyers today.

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Unlawful Striking Causing Death – “One Punch Can Kill”

In 2018, the sentencing of a Brisbane man to nearly 10 years imprisonment brought renewed attention to Queensland’s unlawful striking causing death – or “one punch can kill” – law. Here’s what everyone should know about this important law and the consequences of breaking it.

The back story

The case in question stems from an incident that occurred on 3 January, 2016. At that time, Armstrong Renata was kicked out of a Fortitude Valley nightclub. Afterwards, Renata and another person tried to initiate a physical altercation with two men, identified as Cole Miller and his friend, Pace, whom they allegedly followed. Then Renata and the other person attacked, first punching Pace and then targeting Miller when the two victims tried to flee. Renata then sent a sucker punch or ‘king hit’ to the side of Miller’s head that caused a fatal brain injury. Renata was 23 when he killed Miller, who was just 18.

Renata pleaded guilty to unlawful striking causing death, which is an illegal act under section 314A of the Criminal Code 1899 (Qld). Although he faced at least 15 years and a maximum penalty of life imprisonment upon conviction, Renata was initially sentenced to only seven years imprisonment based on the court’s assessment of the entire case and applicable sentencing guidelines. The court also determined that he had to serve 80 percent of that time before he could apply for parole.

After legal wrangling that ultimately resulted in an appeal, Renata’s sentence was increased to nine years and six months imprisonment.

Queensland’s unlawful striking causing death law

To secure a conviction for unlawful striking causing death, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant illegally hit another person in the head or neck and killed them by doing so.

However, the prosecutor does not have to prove that the defendant intended to kill the victim (which would be required in a traditional murder case), or that the defendant could have reasonably foreseen that his or her actions would have resulted in the victim’s death (which would be required to secure a conviction for manslaughter).

Unlawful striking causing death is a relatively new law in Queensland, which has only been on the statute books since 2014. It was specifically created in accordance with the Safe Night Out Legislation Act 2014 (Qld) following a string of deaths involving single punches.

Since its introduction, the law has sparked considerable debate. Critics question whether it is too harsh. Proponents, including the Queensland Homicide Victim Support Group and legislators behind the Safe Night Out Legislation Act 2014 argue that harsher penalties on offenders for this type of crime are necessary deterrents.

Proponents also point out the significance of the law as it potentially pertains to young adults. This is because younger people are more likely to be in situations or engage in behaviour where this law may apply. Specifically, they say it is important that young adults remain aware of the consequences of failing to monitor their alcohol consumption, potentially leading to violence where someone is killed by a single punch during a night out clubbing or partying. They also need to understand that it doesn’t matter whether the attacker meant to kill the victim.

The importance of getting sound legal advice

Currently, there is widespread government support for implementation of tough sentencing regimes for offences occurring in safe night precincts like Fortitude Valley and Surfers Paradise. Therefore, it is crucial that you get proper legal advice if you have been charged with an offence involving violence whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Don’t leave anything to chance. Contact our Brisbane Criminal Lawyers today.

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What is a Conviction & How Can I Prevent it From Being Recorded?

Everyone knows that if you are found guilty of a crime, you’re convicted of the offence. Convictions, unsurprisingly, have serious ramifications and can potentially follow you for the rest of your life, regardless of your court imposed punishment. If a conviction is recorded it can affect you when applying for jobs and prevent you from travelling. Not all convictions, however, need be recorded. Below, we discuss non-recorded convictions and what that may mean for you.

Penalties and Sentences Act 1992

The Court is granted the discretion to not record a conviction by Section 12 of the Penalties and Sentences Act of 1992, even when the person in question has been found guilty and sentenced by the Court. When exercising this discretion, the Court will look at a variety of factors in determining whether or not the individual circumstances warrant leniency.

Factors that Influence Discretion

Nature of Offence: The type of crime for which you’ve been found guilty will play a role in the discretion of the Court, with minor offences more likely to be non-recorded than major offences.

Age & Character: The offender’s age and character will be taken into account. Because the goal of the criminal justice system generally revolves around fairness and rehabilitation, young offenders and those with no prior history with the criminal justice system are more likely to receive leniency, as they are more likely to resume behavior as law-abiding, productive members of society. This isn’t to say that older offenders will always have their conviction recorded, especially if they have a clean or minor record. It is important to remember that anyone with a clean or minor record has the right to request that their conviction not be recorded, even if they are not excused by youthful indiscretion.

Impact: When determining whether or not to record a conviction, the Court will also look at the potential consequences that a criminal record will have on the offender. In particular, they estimate the impact on the offender’s economic security, social wellbeing, and ability to find appropriate employment. However, it is important to note that merely asserting that a recorded conviction will increase the difficulty of finding a job may not be enough to inspire the Court to exercise leniency. The Court would rather deal in specifics so a letter from an employer or a list of criteria from the offender’s chosen career would be necessary to support this argument.


If you are not able to prevent your conviction from being recorded, you will be required to disclose this conviction in many circumstances, most notably when you are applying for jobs or travelling out of the country for work. There are other times, though, when you are not required to disclose.

Magistrates Court: If your conviction was in the Magistrates Court, you will no longer be required to disclose this conviction when: the conviction was at least five years ago; the term of imprisonment was only 30 months or less (or there was no term of imprisonment); you have completed any other court order; you have not committed any other offence within the five-year period; and no exceptions apply. If you meet all of these requirements, you will not be required to disclose and it will likely be unlawful for any other person to disclose it as well.

District or Supreme Court: Unlike a conviction in Magistrates Court, a conviction in a District or Supreme Court has a much longer lapse period. In order for your conviction to be spent so that you no longer have to disclose it: 10 years must have passed and you were not convicted during that time; you served a term of imprisonment 30 months or less (or were not assigned a term of imprisonment); no exceptions apply; and you have complied with and completed any other order of the court.

Preventing your conviction from being recorded can be imperative if you are hoping to keep your professional and personal life on track. Contact our Criminal Lawyers Brisbane today so that you have a professionally trained advocate to argue on your behalf.

What are Your Rights under Criminal Law?

Thanks to TV shows and pop culture, many people believe they understand how the criminal justice system works. Police shows, procedural dramas and legal adaptations tend to create a false sense of familiarity with the criminal justice system in the average person. But while loose cannon cops and lawyers who bend the rules make good television fodder, they have very little in common with the realities of police-work and legal professionalism. If you find yourself caught within the criminal justice system, it is important to remember that you have rights.


When being arrested, there are three procedural steps that officers are required to follow. The officer must tell you that you are under arrest and briefly explain why, and you must either voluntarily surrender to the officer or you will be taken into custody through force. Police in Queensland do not have to “read you your rights“, and though you do have the right to remain silent, you are still required to inform the arresting officer of your name and address in order to avoid additional charges. Once arrested, you will escorted by the arresting officer to a police station or watch-house to be processed and await court or given bail.


The police are not required to have a warrant in order to arrest you. If they have a reasonable suspicion that you are breaking the law, have broken the law, or are about to break the law, they have the power to arrest you as a reasonable necessity, because of the type or seriousness of the offence, or in order to:

  • stop you from breaking more laws;
  • discover your identity;
  • ensure a court appearance;
  • obtain or retain evidence;
  • prevent the creation or destruction of evidence;
  • prevent witness harassment or interference;
  • protect your safety and the safety of others;
  • prevent your escape; or
  • hold you for questioning.

The threshold for demonstrating reasonable necessity is generally low and the police will likely be allowed to arrest you without a warrant. It is in your best interests to calmly comply, ask for a lawyer as soon as possible, and remain silent except for providing your name and address, until your lawyer arrives.

What Are My Rights?

You have the right to remain silent and wait for the arrival of your lawyer. You cannot be formally interviewed until the police inform you that you have a right to a lawyer, a family member, or friend. Importantly, you must remember that the police are not allowed to coerce a confession out of you by making false promises or threats. As mentioned above, the police must inform you that you are being arrested and explain to you why.

Additionally, you have the right to go to court for a bail application at the earliest reasonable opportunity, and if you are not taken straight to court, you have the right to ask the police for bail. Remember that without an arrest you do have the right to refuse a request to come to the police station, but be careful to handle the situation calmly and respectfully or else risk an actual arrest or additional charges.

Being Arrested for Questioning

When the police have a reasonable suspicion that you have committed an indictable offence, they are able to detain you for a reasonable amount of time in order to conduct an investigation and/or question you about the offence. Police may detain you for up to eight hours, but can only question you for four hours out of the eight. If they want to keep you longer, the police must petition a magistrate or justice of the peace to question you for a further period. During this time period, you still have the right to remain silent after sharing your name and address.

Criminal Lawyers Brisbane

The Drink Driving Guide

As statistics graphically illustrate, drink driving remains an international problem. According to a World Health Organization (WHO) report, in 2015 more than 50% of all traffic deaths on South African roads were attributed to alcohol consumption. In the same year, drinking and driving also contributed to more than one-third (34%) of all road deaths in Canada, 31% of all motor vehicle fatalities in the United States and 30% of all fatal road accidents in Australia.

In the report’s Executive Summary, however, the WHO also notes that the adoption and enforcement of “good laws” is “effective in changing road user behaviour on key risk factors for road traffic injuries”, including drink driving. And to that end, authorities throughout Australia continue to crack down on motorists that engage in the dangerous activity.

With that in mind, here’s what you should know about the consequences of drink driving in Queensland.

If you are caught, you will receive a summons to appear in the Magistrates Court closest to where the offence occurred. The Magistrate will make a determination about the penalties, which range from a fine and disqualification to imprisonment. The type of punishment imposed will depend on several factors including:

  • Your breath or blood alcohol concentration at the time of the offence;
  • your driving record (traffic history);
  • whether you have any prior convictions for drink driving.

The four blood alcohol concentration limits used in Queensland

In Queensland, four classifications pertaining to blood alcohol concentration are used to determine which penalty or penalties will be imposed for a drink driving offence. These are: the no alcohol limit, the general alcohol limit (0.05 to 0.09), the middle alcohol limit (0.10 to 0.149), and the high alcohol limit (over 0.15).

The no alcohol limit prohibits certain drivers from having any alcohol in their blood at all while operating vehicles on Queensland roads. This applies to you if you are a learner or if you have a P1, P2 or a restricted licence (regardless of your age). It also applies to anyone driving a truck, taxi, limousine, tow truck or tractor.

The commission of a DUI offence of drink driving while over the no alcohol limit usually results in the disqualification of your ability to obtain or hold a Queensland driver’s licence for at least three months upon conviction. Furthermore, you are ineligible to apply for a drink driving work licence if a Magistrate finds you guilty of this offence.

The general alcohol limit, which is a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05%, applies to most Queensland drivers. Specifically, it applies to anyone who has a valid Queensland driver’s licence and is exempt from the no alcohol limit.

If you are convicted of a DUI drink driving offence in which your blood alcohol concentration exceeds the general alcohol limit, your ability to obtain or hold a Queensland driver’s licence will automatically be disqualified for at least one month. However, you may be able to apply for a drink driving work licence if you meet certain criteria.

There are more serious consequences upon conviction for a DUI drink driving offence when your blood alcohol concentration exceeds the middle alcohol limit, or 0.10%. In this case, your ability to obtain or hold a Queensland driver’s licence will be disqualified for at least three months, but you may be able to get a drink driving work licence.

Finally, if your blood alcohol concentration exceeds the high alcohol limit of 0.15% when you are behind the wheel, you will be charged with the most serious DUI drink driving offence.

Because there is a legal assumption that you are under the influence of alcohol or liquor based on the extreme reading in these circumstances, this offence is sometimes called “driving under the influence of liquor” (or “UIL”).

Conviction for this type of offence brings the harshest penalties, beginning with a disqualification of your ability to obtain or hold a Queensland driver’s licence for at least six months. Since there is no maximum period for disqualification, your licence could be disqualified for a year or more, depending on your specific circumstances. If this isn’t your first conviction, you may even face probation, community service or jail time. In any case, you will not be able to get a drink driving work licence.

Understanding the drink driving ‘ranges’

If you are charged with “low-range drink driving” in Queensland, it means your blood alcohol concentration (“BAC”) was above the general alcohol limit (0.05%) but below the middle alcohol limit (0.10%).

A low-range drink driving conviction brings a maximum penalty of three months imprisonment and/or a 14 Penalty Unit fine for a first offence.

If you commit and are convicted of a second offence within five years, you face up to six months imprisonment and/or a 20 Penalty Unit fine. Conviction for a third or subsequent offence within five years brings a maximum penalty of nine months imprisonment and/or a 28 Penalty Unit fine.

As we have already noted, you will be unable to obtain or hold a Queensland driver’s licence if you’re convicted on this type of drink driving charge. The length of your disqualification can range from one to nine months for a first offence, and three to 18 months if you’re convicted for a second and/or subsequent offence.

If the Magistrate imposes more than one period of disqualification (which may happen if you’re a repeat offender), you must serve these cumulatively. In other words, one term won’t begin until the previous term ends.

You should also be aware that if you have multiple convictions for low-range drink driving, you must have an Alcohol Ignition Interlock device attached to your nominated vehicle for 12 months once you regain your driving privilege.

If Queensland authorities catch you driving a vehicle with a BAC greater than the “middle alcohol limit” (0.10%), but below the “high alcohol limit” (0.15%), you will likely be charged with “mid-range drink driving.” This is the second most serious drink driving offence under Queensland law, punishable by a maximum of six months imprisonment and/or a 20 penalty unit fine for a first offence.

The commission of and conviction for a second mid-range drink driving offence within five years can also result in up to six months imprisonment and/or a 20 penalty unit fine. However, the commission of and conviction for a third or subsequent offence in that period brings a maximum penalty of nine months imprisonment and/or a 28 penalty unit fine.

When you’re convicted of a mid-range drink driving offence for the first time, the Magistrate will automatically disqualify you from holding or obtaining a Queensland driver’s licence for three to 12 months. Repeat offenders face immediate disqualification for three to 18 months.

The stipulations that apply to multiple disqualification periods and Alcohol Ignition Interlock devices for low-range drink driving convictions also apply to mid-range drink driving convictions.

Lastly, if you have a BAC greater than 0.15% percent or the “high alcohol limit” while behind the wheel, you will be charged with “high-range drink driving”. As we have already noted, this is the most serious drink driving offence under Queensland law. As such, the maximum penalty upon conviction is nine months imprisonment and/or a 28 Penalty Unit fine – and that’s just for a first offence.

The maximum penalty for a second, or subsequent, offence within five years is 18 months imprisonment and/or a 60 Penalty Unit fine. Furthermore, Queensland law mandates that a sentence that “includes imprisonment” is imposed if you are convicted of a third, and any subsequent, offence within five years of the first. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that you will serve out your entire jail sentence, it is likely that will be the case.

Whenever it finds someone guilty of high range drink driving, a court must disqualify them from holding or obtaining a Queensland driver’s licence for at least six months for a first offence; at least one year for a second; and at least two years for any subsequent offences. Although it rarely does so, the Magistrate (or Magistrates Court) is also authorised to disqualify someone absolutely (meaning they can never hold or apply for another Queensland driver’s licence) – even for a first high range drink driving offence.

The stipulations pertaining to multiple disqualification periods for low-range and mid-range drink driving offences also apply to those resulting from high-range drink driving offences.

If you’re convicted of high-range drink driving, you must also have an Alcohol Ignition Interlock device affixed to your nominated vehicle for 12 months after your licence is restored.

Understanding what affects your blood alcohol concentration

Clearly the easiest way to avoid running afoul of Queensland’s drink driving laws, and to avoid hurting or killing yourself or others, is to refrain from having any alcohol at all when you know you will be driving. If you insist upon having “one or two drinks” with family or friends, it is also important that you understand the factors that can affect the way in which your body processes alcohol – and therefore your BAC. These factors include but are not limited to your:

  • Age
  • Drinking habits (consumption)
  • Gender
  • Body type
  • Medication
  • Fitness

The amount of alcohol in the adult beverage(s) you’ve consumed, whether or not the beverages are carbonated, and whether or not you’ve eaten can also influence your BAC.

Seeking legal assistance

Being charged with any drink driving offence in Queensland is a serious matter. With your driving privileges and even your freedom potentially at stake, you should never leave anything to chance. Contact our Criminal Lawyers Brisbane for legal advice and representation today.

What You Need to Know About Search Warrants

Though TV crime dramas like to glorify the loose cannon cop who doesn’t “play by the rules” and will break down a door in a heartbeat, in reality there are protections in place to shield citizens from such reckless behaviour by police. Below, you can find a brief overview of searches, both with and without a warrant, as well as the definition of some important terms. If you are in need of advice regarding a search matter, please contact a Brisbane Criminal Lawyers today and protect your rights.

Home Searches

Right to refusal: Police in Queensland do not have an automatic right to enter your home. If you are refusing them entry, state clearly that you are not inviting them in nor do you consent to any officer remaining on any part of your premises. It is important to keep calm and treat the officers with respect, as anything you say may be used as evidence against you later. Also, make note of any witnesses so that there are other stories to support your claim that you refused police entry.

Police entry without warrant: Though you generally have the right to refuse police entry on your property, there are situations where they will be able to enter without a warrant and without your consent. For example, an officer may enter your home when: handing over a legal document; in an emergency; testing blood alcohol content after a traffic incident; pursuing an escapee; searching for evidence that is in danger of being hidden or destroyed; executing an arrest; reaching a crime scene; or in the event of an anti-terrorism order. These reasons need to be based on “reasonable belief” and within a “reasonable time” (see definitions below).

Police entry with a warrant: A warrant will allow police the right to search your property. Always ask to see the warrant, read through it carefully. The police will then be allowed a reasonable amount of time to conduct their search and have certain powers: detaining those present; removing wall, floor, and ceiling panels; taking pictures; digging and searching those present.

Informal police interviews: It is important to not answer any questions asked while the search is underway, as anything you say can be used against you as evidence.

Searches of your person or vehicle: Police have no automatic right to search you or your vehicle without cause. The officer will be allowed to conduct a search if they have a reasonable suspicion that you have a weapon, illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia, stolen property, contraband, graffiti tools, tools of theft, something you are intending to use to harm yourself or another, evidence of public drinking, or evidence of any offence punishable by at least seven years of jail-time.

Police requirements: When conducting such a search, police must treat you with respect and follow certain guidelines. You should not be searched in the presence of security cameras, and if any clothes are seized for evidence you must be provided alternate pieces of clothing. If and when the search is in public, the officer must strive to cause you the least amount of embarrassment and limit the search to a frisk if possible. More invasive searches should be conducted in private and, unless an immediate search is required, searches should be conducted by an officer of the same sex.  

Computers and mobiles: You are allowed to refuse a request to search your computer or mobile phone and police will have to acquire a warrant to conduct this search. However, the police may seize these items in the interim to prevent tampering or deletion of evidence.


“Reasonable Time”: The amount of time required to ask questions and make reasonable observations or investigation.

“Reasonable Suspicion”: Most courts agree that a reasonable suspicion can be assumed when there is presence of some fact that would make a reasonably minded person believe the same thing. An important note is that a suspicion does not need to be right but merely reasonable.

Get help with drug charges from Bosscher Lawyers.

Help with drug charges & rehabilitation for you or your loved one

Over the last 4 years, Bosscher Lawyers have utilised their unique relationship with other organisations to assist drug offenders obtain the best possible results when sentenced by Queensland Courts.

When sentencing offenders, courts must take into account various factors. Importantly, courts look to the efforts an offender has made to address the issues at the heart of their offending behaviour. Courts look favourably upon offenders who have taken a proactive approach to addressing the issues that contributed to their offending, whether it be drug or alcohol addiction, mental illness or another concerns.

Bosscher Lawyers’ unique relationship with a well-known not for profit organisation enables us to provide clients with access to a ‘rehabilitation co-ordinator.’ Co-ordinators use their wealth of experience and knowledge to refer clients to a range of targeted support services. Through a personalised rehabilitation plan, clients are able to identify and begin to address issues specific to their offending. This targeted support not only assists clients in their personal development but also provides courts with definitive evidence of their rehabilitative efforts.

Bosscher Lawyers have represented many clients with a background of illicit substance abuse or other personal issues for sentencing before the District and Supreme Courts. The assistance provided by our ‘rehabilitation co-ordinators’ has proved to be a significant factor in these clients either avoiding prison time altogether or reducing the usual sentence. Our results speak for themselves.

It has often been commented upon by Judges the significant and impressive nature of our clients rehabilitative efforts, particularly those undertaken with the support of our rehabilitation strategy.

Should you or a loved one find themselves charged with a criminal offence and have an underlying personal issue to address, you should contact a member of Brisbane Criminal Lawyers at Bosscher Lawyers to not only provide you with the best legal representation available but also access to the support required to address your personal circumstances.

Police with Search Warrant

Do the Police Need a Search Warrant?

Search warrants. Anyone who has watched a crime drama on television is familiar with the concept: police officers charging into a home on the authority of a piece of paper. Or, if it’s a slightly more exciting plot, loose cannon detectives throwing caution to the wind and opting to commit a search without a warrant…creating problems for the lawyers later on in the episode.

But in the real world, what does a search warrant actually entail? And when do the police need one to perform a search? Below we cover some of the most frequently asked questions about search warrants in Queensland.

What is a Search Warrant?

In Queensland, the police generally do not have the right to search a person or premises (though exception do apply and are outlined below). However, if the officers obtain a search warrant they will be allowed to both enter the premises and search therein.

A search warrant is a written order issued by a judge or magistrate that grants police the authority to enter and search a premises at a specified date and time for the narrow purpose of seizing specified evidence which is believed to be connected to the commission of a crime.

Searching a Residence

            The police may try to enter a residence in order to conduct a search in order to obtain evidence relating to a crime. If the police are allowed to enter the premises and commit a search, then it is best for you to not answer any questions as any statements (including confessions) that you make may be used against you.

With a Warrant

If the police have a warrant, you should first ask to see it and then insist on receiving a copy of the warrant. Pay attention to the details and make note of anything that seems incorrect. Even with a warrant, the police may only stay as long as is reasonably necessary to complete the task outlined in the warrant. When entering the property, the police must also provide you with a list of their powers under the warrant, possibly including (but not limited to):

  1. Removing wall, floor, or ceiling panels when searching for evidence
  2. Photographing possible evidence
  3. Digging
  4. Seizing your property as evidence
  5. Opening locked safes, cupboards, chests, filing cabinets, etc.
  6. Detaining or searching individuals on the premises to determine if they have anything detailed on the warrant.

If your property is damaged by a police search authorized by a warrant which allows forced entry and they find drugs or evidence of an offence, then you probably won’t be compensated for the damage. However, if no evidence is produced, you should contact the senior police officer to file an official complaint.

Without a Warrant

If the police do not have a warrant, you can usually refuse them entry. If you refuse them entry, do so respectfully by clearly stating that you are not inviting them in and do not give your consent for them to remain on the property.

However, there are times when Queensland police can enter a property without a warrant or your consent, including:

  1. To arrest a person they reasonably suspect is located on the property
  2. To conduct a breathalyzer test
  3. To serve legal documents or notices
  4. When there is a seriously injured person on the premises
  5. To search for evidence that they reasonable suspect will be otherwise destroyed or hidden
  6. To reach a crime scene
  7. To detain someone under an anti-terrorism preventative detention order.

When they enter without a warrant for any of these reasons, they are only permitted to do so for the reasonable amount of time it would take them to perform the action or serve the document. If they are entering sans warrant to arrest or detain someone, the officer must have a reasonable suspicion that the person is actually on the premises. Reasonable suspicion, like reasonable time, is fairly subjective. But most courts agree that there needs to be some fact which would cause a reasonably minded person to conclude something.

Searching Your Person, Belongings, or Vehicle

            Though the police are not automatically authorized to conduct a search of your person, belongings, or car, they may do so (even without a warrant) if they have a reasonable suspicion that any of the following items are in your possession:

  1. Weapons
  2. Illegal drugs or paraphernalia
  3. Stolen property
  4. Graffiti instruments
  5. Housebreaking or car stealing instruments
  6. Something you intend to harm yourself or others with
  7. Evidence of drinking alcohol in a public place
  8. Evidence of either willful damage or an offence punishable by 7 years jail-time.

If a police officer may legally search you, then the searching officer must be of your same sex, respect your dignity, and limit the scope of the search as much as possible. In the case of a strip search the police may not search your body cavities and respect your privacy.


In Queensland, the search warrant must specifically state that the search is meant to include your computer or cellphone. If it does not, then you have the legal right to refuse access. If it does, then you are legally required to provide the necessary passwords and facilitate access as best you can.

Firearms Amnesty

Firearms Amnesty

The Government has recently announced a firearms amnesty, in place from 1st July to 30th September 2017.

The amnesty comes over twenty years after the famous 1996 amnesty, announced by then Prime Minister John Howard, following the tragedy that occurred at Port Arthur.

The 2017 amnesty is aimed at putting a dent in the estimated 260,000 illegal firearms believed to be in circulation within Australia. With rising gun crimes as well as the constant terror threat, the “no questions asked” amnesty is the latest step in protecting the community from gun and weapon-related crime.

This amnesty allows anyone to hand-in any firearms or related items (whether registered or not) with a guaranteed immunity from prosecution.

The items covered as part of the amnesty are as follows:

  • Firearms;
  • Any firearm parts, such as barrels/triggers/frames etc;
  • Silencers or any other suppressor;
  • Magazines;
  • Ammunition;
  • Knives, crossbows; and Vests

Firearms and related articles can be surrendered either for registration, sale or destruction at either a local police station or a licensed firearms dealer.

It is important to note that you should contact your local police station or licensed dealer prior to attending with any firearm or related article and NEVER take a loaded firearm in public.

Should you require any legal advice or assistance in relation to this amnesty or any other issue with respect to firearms or weapons in general, you should contact our Brisbane Criminal Lawyers on (07) 3229 3166.

counter terrorism laws

Oliver Bridgeman’s Lawyer Argues Evidence is ‘Incapable of Rationally Supporting’ Conclusions

A Queensland teenager had his passport cancelled after an Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation assessment found he travelled to Syria to engage in “politically motivated violence” or commit acts in support of it.

But Oliver Bridgeman’s lawyer argues that Asio’s evidence, which is drawn from publicly available material such as social media posts and media reports, as well as a Queensland police liaison, is “incapable of rationally supporting” the intelligence agency’s conclusions.


lock out laws

What’s Next? Prohibition?

The Queensland Government last week announced a significant tightening of our “lockout laws”. It would seem our Government is intent on living up to Queensland’s “nanny-state” moniker.

The new laws will see licensed venues enforce a “lock-out” of patrons at 1am and last drinks called at either 2 or 3am, depending on whether that venue is considered a ‘safe night precinct’.

This legislation, passed quickly and seemingly without thorough and unbiased consultation, seems to have come as a response to the violence surrounding licensed venues, in particular the ‘coward punch’ acts that have saturated the media in the last 12 months.

The new laws have been enacted as a reaction to a minority of people who, whilst spending nights out, have reverted to violence. The decision by the government displays a complete disregard for the law-abiding majority, who are the ones that ultimately pay the price by having their freedoms inhibited. Of course there are many other ‘victims’ who will suffer from these draconian laws; namely businesses, employees of licensed premises, musicians etc.

These rushed laws raise the question of, what happens if someone now gets assaulted at 10pm whilst out at licensed venues? Will we see further restrictions?

Instead of consideration given to curbing alcohol-related violence by way of furthering education, increasing penalties in relation to violent acts or placing restrictions on those who are found to have previously caused; the Government has decided to call in the ‘fun police’ on the majority of peaceful party go-ers and further limit their freedoms as to how they can go out and enjoy their nights.

This knee-jerk reaction is another example of surface-level thinking and an attempt at appearing to address an issue quickly for the purposes of perhaps obtaining good will, but certainly, votes. No discussion has been had in relation to the lack of research supporting lock-out laws and its contribution (or a lack thereof) to a reduction in violence. There appears to have been no consideration given to what people are going to do between 2am when last drinks are called, and closing time. Does the Government consider patrons turning to party drugs, in order to curb their alcohol intake, a success?

This legislation will not have the effect it’s designed to have. There will still be the violent idiots among us, as there always have been. Unfortunately, there is no way to legislate against those unsociable thugs. They won’t stay home because of these laws. People will start drinking earlier and, instead of leaving the pubs and clubs to go and have a bite to eat and then take the opportunity to go home, they won’t leave the licensed premises. The thought of being deprived the opportunity of being able to return to a venue will be enough to stop people from leaving those venues.

If the Government were to be honest with the people of the state, they would accept that the majority of the violence in the ‘party precincts’ is caused at or around closing time at taxi ranks. Lockout laws will not stop the mass gatherings outside venues, as all pubs and clubs will still close at once, and it certainly won’t stop the angst caused at taxi ranks.

The argument that the laws are currently operating effectively in New South Wales is a manipulation of actual facts. More and more venues are permanently closing and the reduction of people in and around those precincts that are the focus of the ‘statistics’, are not taken into account.

Finally, any argument the Government proffers in relation to this issue is rendered void once we consider the total exemptions given to our casinos. If, in fact, the problem were as serious as we are led to believe and the Government is serious about tackling the ‘problems’, then why would the casinos be exempt? Casinos are a 24 hours a day money-making machine for the Government (not to mention the political donations provided), who are allowed to serve alcohol for 22 hours a day. Are we supposed to believe that the casinos are somehow immune from the behaviour, so worrying that it warrants tightening lockout laws, that apparently plagues the rest of the state?

The apparent lack of consideration and common sense as well as the ignoring of the negative effects to our local economy, businesses, jobs etc., coupled with the total exemptions to casino’s leaves us wondering what the Governments motivation really is? Are these laws simply a mechanism to funnel party-goers into casinos?

heroin charges

Trial Starts for Accused Men Charged with Possession of Commercial Quantity of Heroin

Two men were ‘effectively caught red-handed’ trying to extract millions of dollars worth of heroin concealed in two decorative wooden altars, a Queensland court has heard.

The trial of Lam Hoang Tran and Duy Hoa Pham started in Brisbane’s Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Both have pleaded not guilty to attempting to possess a commercial quantity of an unlawfully imported border-controlled drug, namely heroin.