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Breach Domestic Violence Order

The charge of breaching a domestic violence order is on the rise in Queensland. The purpose of this article is to provide information and guidance to someone charged or accused of breaching a domestic violence order in Queensland.

 

What is a DVO?

Domestic Violence is defined under the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 to mean any act or behaviour that towards a person with whom the alleged offender has a relevant a relationship with including;

  • Physically or sexually abusive; or
  • Emotionally or psychologically abusive; or
  • Economically abusive; or
  • Threatening; or
  • Coercive; or
  • In any other way controls or dominates the second person and causes the second person to fear for his/her safety or wellbeing or for that of someone else.

A relevant relationship is:

  • An intimate personal relationship; or
  • A family relationship; or
  • An informal care relationship

When looking at the behaviours listed above the court may have regard to the following acts in deciding if the behaviour complained of is in fact domestic violence;

Causing or threatening to cause personal injury to someone;

  • Coercing a person to engage in sexual activity or attempting to do so;
  • Damaging or threatening to damage a person’s property;
  • Depriving a person of their liberty or threatening to do so;
  • Threatening a person with the death or injury of the person, a child, or someone else;
  • Threatening to commit suicide or self-harm so as to torment, intimidate or frighten the person;
  • Causing or threatening to cause the death of, or injury to, an animal;
  • Unauthorised surveillance of a person; and
  • Unlawfully stalking a person.

An application for a DVO can be bought by the aggrieved person or the police. A Magistrate will usually issue a temporary protection order and then make a final determination if a DVO needs to be imposed at a later stage.

If a DVO is ordered by the court then the person named in the order must abide by all the terms of the order for the length of time the court has set the order. If a person does not follow the DVO then the police can bring a criminal complainant against that person and charge them with breaching a domestic violence order.

 

What does breaching a DVO mean?

Section 177 creates the offence of contravention of a domestic violence order. The law states that;

(1) This section applies if a respondent against whom a domestic violence order has been made—

 

(a) was present in court when the order was made; or

(b) has been served with a copy of the order; or

(c) has been told by a police officer about the existence of the order.

 

(2) The respondent must not contravene the order.

 

Penalty—

Maximum penalty—

(a) if, within 5 years before the commission of an offence against this subsection, the respondent has been previously convicted of a domestic violence offence—240 penalty units or 5 years imprisonment; or

(b) otherwise—120 penalty units or 3 years imprisonment.

(3) For subsection (1) (c) , the respondent may be told by a police officer about the existence of an order in any way, including, for example, by telephone, email, SMS message, a social networking site or other electronic means.

(4) However, a court may not find a respondent contravened an order merely because a police officer told the respondent about the existence of the order, unless the court is satisfied the police officer told the respondent about the condition that it is alleged the respondent contravened.

(5) The prosecution bears the onus of proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the respondent has been told by a police officer about the existence of an order, or a condition of an order.

 

In order to be convicted of an offence of breaching the order, the respondent must have been present in court when the order was made or served with a copy of the order or told about the existence of the order by a police officer. The respondent may be told of the order by a police officer in any way, including by telephone, email, SMS, a social networking site or other electronic means.

The prosecution bears the onus of proving, beyond reasonable doubt that the police officer told the respondent about the existence of the order or of a condition of the order.

 

What acts can be considered as breaching a DVO?

The courts have broadly defined the types of actions that could be considered breaching a DVO. If an order prevents contact then any attempt to contact the aggrieved through any communication method will likely be considered by the court as a breach.

Often the DVO has a terms that the respondent must be of good behaviour to the aggrieved and not commit and act of domestic violence. We have seen the courts find a breach of this condition in the following circumstances;

  1. Removing or hiding the aggrieved phone
  2. Grabbing a TV remote from the aggrieved hand
  3. Pushing the aggrieved into a hallway
  4. Verbally abusing the aggrieved
  5. hiding the aggrieved car keys or purse

 

What happens if you are charged with breaching a DVO

If you are accused with breaching a DVO then the police will investigate all complainants. They will likely seek statements from the aggrieved and the respondent. Never give a statement to police unless you have received legal advice to do so. In most cases giving a statement to police is not a good idea and can lead to a charge or more charges than if you had not said anything to police. You have a right to not talk to police about the allegations.

If the police do bring charges then they will either arrest you or give you a notice to appear in your local magistrates court.

The magistrates court will deal with most DVO breach charges however in certain serious cases the District Court may deal with the charge.

 

Is breaching a DVO a criminal offence?

Yes it is. Unlike the application for a DVO, a breach is a criminal charge. The court can decide not to record a conviction for the offence in appropriate circumstances. In deciding whether to record a conviction the court is looking at;

  • the nature of the offence; and
  • the offender’s character and age; and
  • the impact that recording a conviction will have on the offender’ economic or social wellbeing; or chances of finding employment

 

What penalties can be imposed?

The act specifies the maximum penalty as 3 years imprisonment unless the person has been convicted of breaching a DVO in the last 5 years, in that case the maximum penalty increases to 5 years.

In practice the court will look at the following factors in deciding a penalty;

  1. What was the exact nature of the breach, was it serious or was it more of a technical breach
  2. Does the defendant have an criminal history and if so for what and how recent was it
  3. Was any violence used in the breach
  4. Were any children present during the breach
  5. What impact did the breach have on the aggrieved?
  6. The timing of the breach i.e. how long was the DVO in place before it was breached
  7. Was it an early plea of guilty
  8. Is the defendant sorry for his or her actions?
  9. How old is the defendant?, youthful defendants will often receive a lesser sentence

The court must also take account of the provisions of section 9 of the Penalties and Sentences Act. In summary those are that the purpose of the sentence is to punish the offender to an extent or in a way that is just in all the circumstances, facilitate avenues of rehabilitation, deter the offender and others from committing a similar offence, make it clear that the community denounces the conduct in this offence, and protect the community.

In R v Fairbrother; ex parte A-G (Qld) [2005] QCA 105, McMurdo P provided useful guidance for sentencing Judges saying (at para 23):

Domestic violence is an insidious, prevalent and serious problem in our society. Victims are often too ashamed to publicly complain, partly because of misguided feelings of guilt and responsibility for the perpetrator's actions. Members of the community are often reluctant to become involved in the personal relationships of others where domestic violence is concerned. Perpetrators of domestic violence often fail to have insight into the seriousness of their offending, claiming an entitlement to behave in that way or at least to be forgiven by the victim and to evade punishment by society. Domestic violence has a deleterious on-going impact not only on the immediate victim but on the victim's wider family and ultimately on the whole of society. It is not solely a domestic issue; it is a crime against the State warranting salutary punishment. The cost to the community in terms of lost income and productivity, medical and psychological treatment and on-going social problems is immense. Perpetrators of serious acts of domestic violence must know that society will not tolerate such behaviour. They can expect the courts to impose significant sentences of imprisonment involving actual custody to deter not only individual offenders but also others who might otherwise think they can commit such acts with near impunity.

In general the types of penalties the court can impose in order for least to most serious are;

  1. Good Behaviour bond; or
  2. Fine; or
  3. Community Service; or
  4. Probation; or
  5. Suspended term of imprisonment; or
  6. Imprisonment with immediate parole; or
  7. Intensive Corrections Order; or
  8. Actual imprisonment

Only an experienced lawyer will be able to tell you the likely outcome.

 

Are there any defences to breaching a DVO?

Broadly the defences would be;

  • The Respondent did not know about the DVO
  • The Respondent did not commit the acts alleged at all
  • The Respondent committed the act but their actions did not breach the DVO

 

How can I amend a current DVO?

You can seek a court order to vary a DVO. The variation application would be heard by the Magistrates Court. If you are asking to remove conditions that will reduce the protection of the aggrieved, you will need to explain how the circumstances have changed, and how everyone will remain protected from domestic violence.

The safety, protection and wellbeing of people who fear or experience domestic violence, including children, is most important factor for the courts.

The police will often make submissions to the court whether to vary the order or not.

 

Should I get a Lawyer?

Yes, yes and yes. A breach of a DVO is a serious charge and viewed so by the Magistrate and the Prosecutor. You do not want to face a court by yourself with this charge. There are serious penalties that can be imposed and the court must also decide whether to record a conviction or not. If a conviction is recorded you could be prevented from travelling overseas or getting certain jobs or work contracts.

An experienced criminal defence lawyer will know what the Magistrate wants to hear to reduce the penalty and how to negotiate with the prosecutor where necessary.

 

How can Clarity Law help me?

We can potentially help with;

  • Reducing the penalty
  • Negotiating with the prosecutor
  • Being on your side and standing up for you in court
  • Reducing your stress about dealing with the allegations
  • Getting no conviction recorded

 

What will it cost to get a lawyer?

We can provide you with a fixed fee for all our work once we understand the seriousness of the charges. Our prices are generally around $1,200 for a less serious matter and up to around $3,300 where the risk of jail is high.

The fixed fee will cover all costs, there will not be any unexpected further fees.

 

If I’m going to engage a Lawyer why should I engage Clarity Law? 

At Clarity Law we are experts in Queensland criminal law. We are in the court every single day helping people with criminal charges. We have handled hundreds of breaches of DVO.

We are also a no pressure firm which means feel free to ring, we can give initial advice and help but you aren’t pressured to engage us but of course we are more than happy if you do. 

We cover all courts in South East Queensland from Southport to Gympie and out to Toowoomba. We are also a criminal law firm, we don’t do any other type of law so we are in the courts every day helping people with charges like this. 

We have offices at; 

  • Brisbane 
  • Sunshine Coast 
  • Gold Coast 
  • Brendale 
  • Ipswich 
  • Loganholme

 

How do I get more information or engage Clarity Law to act for me?  

If you want to engage us or just need further information or advice then you can either; 

  1. Use our contact form and we will contact you by email or phone at a time that suits you 
  2. Visit our website at claritylaw.com.au  
  3. Call us on 1300 952 255 seven days a week, 7am to 7pm 
  4. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Disclaimer: This article is for general information and is not legal advice.  The law or the practice of the court may have changed since this article was published.  Always obtain legal advice if you need to appear in court. 

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation 

 

Obstruct or Assault Police

 Assault or Obstruct police

The charge of assault or obstruct police is a very common charge in Queensland and one that people who otherwise have never been in trouble with police are often charged with.

 

The Law

Section 790 of the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act defines the charge of obstruct or assault police as;

  • A person must not
    1. assault a police officer in the performance of the officer’s duties; or
    2. obstruct a police officer in the performance of the officer’s duties.

Maximum penalty—

(a) if the assault or obstruction happens within licensed premises, or in the vicinity of licensed premises—60 penalty units or 12 months imprisonment; or

(b) otherwise—40 penalty units or 6 months imprisonment.

A police officer can include a police dog or horse.

As you can see from the legislation there are two distinct charges that is obstructing police and separately assaulting police. As could be easily guessed the charge of assaulting police is more serious even through the maximum penalty is the same as the charge of obstructing police.

 

What is obstruct?

The act defines obstruct to include any of the following;

  • Hinder
  • Resist
  • Attempt to Obstruct

 

What is assault?

The definition of assault is found in the Queensland Criminal Code and includes;

A person who strikes, touches, or moves, or otherwise applies force of any kind to, the person of another, either directly or indirectly, without the other person’s consent, or with the other person’s consent if the consent is obtained by fraud, or who by any bodily act or gesture attempts or threatens to apply force of any kind to the person of another without the other person’s consent, under such circumstances that the person making the attempt or threat has actually or apparently a present ability to effect the person’s purpose, is said to assault that other person, and the act is called an assault.

In this section— applies force includes the case of applying heat, light, electrical force, gas, odour, or any other substance or thing whatever if applied in such a degree as to cause injury or personal discomfort.

As you can see the definition of assault is very wide and includes not only actual striking of someone but also just an attempt to actually strike someone.

 

How do these charges generally arise?

In our experience this offence is using committed in the following circumstances;

  1. A person is at a licenced premises and some sort of disturbance occurs. Security removes the person and the police are called. While attempting to speak to the person the police allege the person would not follow their instructions and the person is ultimately arrested for obstructing police.
  1. The police are called to a disturbance, sometimes in a family home but more likely a premises selling alcohol. The police seek to speak to a person who remains allegedly unco-operative. The police make a decision to arrest the person, that person resists the arrest and during the struggle a police officer is struck.

In the overwhelming amount of cases there is alcohol or drugs involved.

 

What court will deal with this offence?

In general the Magistrates court will deal with this charge. Though the possibility exists it could be heard in the District Court it rarely is.

 

What penalties can be imposed?

The penalty that would be imposed depends on a number of factors including;

  • The exact allegations
  • What injuries if any was suffered by the police
  • The defendant’s previous criminal history

From July 2016 to June 2019 the Queensland Magistrates court dealt with 5,637 cases of Obstruct police. The penalties imposed were broken down as follows;

Pie Chart 2

 

In addition If the police allege that the obstruction or assault took place in a public place whilst the defendant was affected by an intoxicating substance than as part of the punishment the court must order that the defendant perform a period of community service. The community service cannot exceed 240 hours if the Magistrate Court hears the matter.

 

Are there defences?

There are a number of potential defences and these include;

  1. Self Defence
  2. That it was not defendant who assaulted or obstructed the police
  3. That the police were not executing their official duties at the time

 

Could the prosecutor drop the charge?

It is sometimes possible to negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce or withdraw the charge. Negotiations are known as case conferencing in Queensland. Whether negotiations would be successful depends very much on what is alleged and how strong the case is. Often in these cases there is either CCTV footage or footage from the police officers body worn camera and these can be viewed to determine the strength of the police case.

 

Will a conviction be recorded?

The courts must consider whether to record a conviction or not. The types of things that courts take into account include;

  1. the nature of the offence; and
  2. the offender’s character and age; and
  3. the impact that recording a conviction will have on the offender’s
    1. economic or social wellbeing; or
    2. chances of finding employment.

In addition whether a person has previous criminal offences will be an important factor for the court in determining whether to record a conviction.

Remember if a conviction is recorded this can impact your ability to obtain employment or travel overseas.

 

Should I engage a lawyer to apply for handle my charge?

While we obviously have a vested interest in people using a lawyer for their charge we are of the strong opinion that this is a charge you should always use a criminal defence lawyer for a charge of obstruct or assault police.

Some advantages to using a lawyer includes;

  1. It will increase the chance of a successful negotiation with the prosecutor
  2. Lawyers know what the court wants to hear
  3. They can improve the chance the court will not record a conviction
  4. They will make the whole process easier and less stressful
  5. You will have at court someone on your side fighting for the best result for you

 

If I’m going to engage a Lawyer why should I engage Clarity Law?

At Clarity Law we are experts in Queensland criminal law. We are in the court every single day helping people with criminal charges. We have handled hundreds of obstruct/assault charges.

We also have upfront fixed fees with no hidden charges. Our prices are on our website unlike most law firms. The prices are listed at www.claritylaw.com.au/prices.html

We are also a no pressure firm which means feel free to ring, we can give initial advice and help but you aren’t pressured to engage us but of course we are more than happy if you do.

We cover all courts in South East Queensland from Southport to Gympie and out to Toowoomba. We are also a criminal law firm, we don’t do any other type of law so we are in the courts every day helping people with charges like this.

We have offices at;

  • Brisbane
  • Sunshine Coast
  • Gold Coast
  • Brendale
  • Ipswich

 

How do I get more information or engage Clarity Law to act for me? 

If you want to engage us or just need further information or advice then you can either;

  1. Use our contact form and we will contact you by email or phone at a time that suits you
  2. Visit our website at www.claritylaw.com.au 
  3. Call us on 1300 952 255 seven days a week, 7am to 7pm
  4. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Disclaimer: This article is for general information and is not legal advice.  The law or the practice of the court may have changed since this article was published.  Always obtain legal advice if you need to appear in court.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation

Centrelink Fraud

Centrelink fraud is one of the most common commonwealth charges that a person can be charged with. Centrelink fraud is a serious charge and is viewed as such by courts and prosecutors. People who are charged with centrelink fraud are often stressed and concerned about what penalty the court will impose and the purpose of this article to give people charged with Centrelink fraud or those who might be an overview of a centrelink fraud charge and the court process in Queensland.

 

The law

Centrelink fraud is a commonwealth charge which means the charges are bought by the commonwealth department of public prosecutions under commonwealth law but the actual process is carried out in the Queensland Courts.

The most common charge of centrelink fraud is bought under section 135.2 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). That legislation provides as follows;

135.2   Obtaining financial advantage

             (1)  A person is guilty of an offence if:

                     (a)  the person engages in conduct; and

(aa)  as a result of that conduct, the person obtains a financial advantage for himself or herself from another person; and

(ab)  the person knows or believes that he or she is not eligible to receive that financial advantage; and

                   (b)  the other person is a Commonwealth entity.

Penalty:  Imprisonment for 12 months.

What penalty can be imposed?

The court will be provided with comparative sentences by the Commonwealth DPP and they provide some guidance to the court as to the range of penalties to be imposed in these types of matters.

A jail sentence is often within the sentencing range.

The table below sets out the outcomes of some of the more common cases that the court considers in sentencing.

Case

Age

Amount of fraud

Period

Outcome on appeal

Newton[1]

47

$50,379

220 weeks

2 years imprisonment released after 3 months upon entering into recognisance for $2000 conditioned on good behaviour for 2 years

Desborough[2]

45

$49,334

278 weeks

2 years imprisonment released after 3 months upon entering into recognisance for $3000 conditioned on good behaviour for 3 years

Thornton

27

$37,173

204 weeks

6 months imprisonment to be released after 2 months

Brown

24

$32,453

144 weeks

9 months imprisonment to be released after 92 days

Hodges[3]

54

$30,347

61 weeks

12 months imprisonment released forthwith upon enter recognisance for $1000 conditioned on good behaviour for 2 years and 2 years probation

Groundwater

51

$30,283

156 weeks (continued to offend after being notified of overpayment

12 month sentence to be release after 4 months upheld

Smith

45

$28,813

206 weeks

12 months imprisonment released forthwith upon enter recognisance in sum of $2,000 conditioned on Good behaviour for 2 years and 12 months’ probation

 

How does the court reach a decision on penalty?

Judge Irwin in the smith appeal decision concluded that;

In my view, given the range of sentencing options available under the Crimes Act to enable an appropriate sentence to be structured, to achieve deterrence and to balance mitigatory factors, it is an error to proceed on the basis that an intensive correction order is the only means of achieving this, such as in the absence of an ability to undertake the community service component, through no fault of the appellant, the only alternative sentence was one involving a short period of actual imprisonment.

 

In regards to balancing the deterrent factor with the defendants personal circumstances Judge Irwin quotes from Williams J in R v White where his honour stated;

“A custodial sentence is clearly the most likely to have the required deterrent effect, but that does not mean that there will not be cases, indeed, perhaps many cases, where factors personal to the offender, under consideration, will warrant or justify the imposition of a non-custodial sentence."

His Honour Judge Irwin then goes on the state;

In R v. Holdsworth, although the judgment of the President of the Court of Appeal was a dissenting one in relation to the penalty to be imposed, he relevantly said: "While deterrence is a significant factor in sentencing in respect of offences such as those of which the respondent is guilty, the need for deterrence must be balanced against other considerations, including, especially in this instance, the point which has been reached in the Court process and the respondent's personal circumstances. The need for deterrence can be sufficiently met by the imposition of a period of imprisonment which is suspended for a substantial period, during which the respondent must be of good behaviour."

In discussing the appropriate sentence to be imposed on the defendant in Smith v Benson his Honour concluded that;

…an order for immediate release is part of what is a sentence of imprisonment, even though non-custodial. Further, I consider that the service of the appellant's sentence in the community, in conjunction with a 12 month probation order, including a requirement that she submit herself to such medical, psychiatric and psychological treatment as directed by a community Corrections Officer is in itself an onerous obligation upon her.

In discussing the comparative sentences provided by the Commonwealth DPP in Smith v Benson his Honour concluded that;

In these circumstances, the need for deterrence is sufficiently met by the imposition of a period of imprisonment, with an immediate release upon entering into a recognisance, conditioned that she be of good behaviour for a period of two years and subject to 12 months probation

This is not outside the range of sentences which emerges from the comparative sentences to which I have referred. Of those cases, Groundwater is the only one in which a sentence involving an actual period of imprisonment has been upheld. In Rosales and Andersen, such sentences have been set aside and a sentence of imprisonment to be served by an intensive correction order imposed.

In Rosales v Carstens [2004] QDC 579 her Honour Judge Wolfe concluded that in regards to sending that defendant to jail for a short period of time that;

… but in my view he did not give sufficient weight to the cost to the community of 10 or 12 weeks' imprisonment for the appellant; that imprisonment in the community provides, in her circumstances, a very heavy penalty which is a grave punishment and which would certainly act as a deterrent, in my view.

And earlier in that decision her Honour stated that in regards to the original Magistrates decision not to have the defendant serve the sentence of imprisonment by way of a ICO that;

I do find that the Magistrate erred mostly because, with a 12 month maximum, he could have imposed an intensive correction order which will impose an enormous burden on the appellant. Secondly, a 12 month intensive correction order is enormously difficult, as the Court of Appeal, particularly Williams J, has in the past observed. It involves a person having to report at least twice a week or receive visits twice a week; being prohibited from leaving Queensland or staying out of Queensland unless special permission is obtained; being in jeopardy of being locked up in a community residential facility for up to seven days at a time if the authorised Corrective Services officer directs.

In Newton Chesterman JA stated at paragraph 4

There is also the point that an exact comparison of the applicant’s case with other like cases in an endeavour to find true consistency in sentencing is unattainable, as I pointed out (with the agreement of the Chief Justice) in R v Willoughby [2009] QCA 105 at [31]. There are always differences between offence and offender so that a precise comparison is impossible. What is possible is an examination of cases to discern a range within which the sentencing discretion is to be exercised.

 

Atkinson J in Newton at paragraph 39 stated

A sentencing judge has a very wide discretion as to the appropriate period of imprisonment, if any, which must be served before an offender is released on recognizance. This was recognised by this court in R v Ruha, Ruha & Harris; ex parte Cth DPP where it was observed that:

“Part 1B of the Crimes Act, under which sentencing judges are given a discretion to direct release on recognizance at any time from the commencement to the end of the term, is consistent with the application of the general principle that material differences in particular cases might justify materially different sentences, including in the specification of the pre-release period.” (emphasis added)

 

What factors does the court consider when sentencing?

  • punishment: to punish the offender for the offence in a way that is just and appropriate in all the circumstances;
  • deterrence: to deter the offender (specific deterrence) or other people (general deterrence) from committing the same or similar offences;
  • protection: to protect the community from the offender;
  • rehabilitation: to promote the rehabilitation of the offender; and
  • denunciation: to denounce the conduct of the offender

The crimes Act section 16A sets out those factors that the court must take into account when sentencing. They are too numerous to list but often include;

  • Nature and circumstances of offence
  • Other offences
  • Course of conduct
  • Loss resulting from offence
  • Degree to which contrition is shown
  • If a guilty plea is entered
  • Co-operation with law enforcement

The defendant’s personal circumstances that go towards imposing an ICO or an immediate release on recognisance rather than actual imprisonment may include;

  1. entering an early guilty plea
  2. being employed and repaying the debt and that repayment ability would cease if sent to jail
  3. lack of previous criminal offending
  4. whether the defendant has to care for children or parents
  5. using the funds to support day to day living costs not to fund a lavish lifestyle
  6. whether the defendant had any mental health issues and if those issues existed at the time of offending
  7. that the offending was unsophisticated in that no false names or identities were used
  8. expression of remorse by entering an early guilty plea

The most common sentences the courts consider for centrelink fraud are generally;

  1. Non-conviction order
  2. Conditional release with conviction
  3. Recognizance release order
  4. Community Service
  5. Intensive corrections order
  6. Imprisonment suspended
  7. Imprisonment immediate release
  8. Actual imprisonment

In additional the court will make an order the amount of the centrelink fraud be repaid to the government.

 

What can I do to get the best outcome

Seek good legal advice is the first step. A lawyer will be able to give answers and make recommendations to achieve the best outcome.

Some things that might help include;

  • Obtaining character references
  • Repaying the debt or entering into a payment scheme
  • Having your lawyer contact the commonwealth DPP to discuss the charges
  • Entering a guilty plea at an early stage

 

Can Clarity Law help me?

Engaging Clarity Law gives you the best chance at obtaining avoiding a jail sentence. We appear every week in the courts with people charged with centrelink fraud, it is this experience that allows us to get the best result for clients.  Other law firms simply don’t have the experience that we do.

  1. we know the judges and what they want to hear to give you the best outcome
  2. we have good relationships with the police prosecutors meaning we can often have them not seek a jail sentence
  3. we are there to help you through the process and make everything as stress free as possible, in most cases you will not have to say anything in court
  4. engaging us shows the court you are taking your charges seriously
  5. your matter will be heard early, often first, you do not have to wait for 20-30 other matters to be heard before you
  6. you will be fully informed of what is to happen in court and what this means for you after court
  7. unlike the police or the Judge, we are there to look after you, your privacy and your interests

 

Do you have an office near me?

We appear in every court in south East Queensland between The Gold Coast and Bundaberg and out to Toowoomba and beyond. We also have a 5 star rating on Google and Facebook. We have offices at:

Sunshine Coast

Level 3, 14-18 Duporth Avenue

Maroochydore 4558

 

Brisbane

Level 1, 16 McDougall Street

Milton

Phone: 0730677017 

 

Southport

Level 15, 2 Corporate Court

Bundall

Phone: 0756132683 

 

Loganholme

Level 2, 3972 Pacific Highway

Loganholme

Phone: 0736680683 

 

Ipswich

16 East Street

Ipswich

Phone: 0734850147 

 

Brendale

3/22-24 Strathwyn Street

Brendale

Phone: 0734850184 

 

How do I get more information or engage Clarity Law to act for me?  

If you want to engage us or just need further information or advice then you can either; 

  1. Use our contact form and we will contact you by email or phone at a time that suits you 
  1. Visit our website at www.claritylaw.com.au  
  1. Call us on 1300 952 255 seven days a week, 7am to 7pm 
  1. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

 

[1] R v Newton [2010] QCA 101

[2] R v Desborough [2010] QCA 297

[3] Hodges and Commonwealth DPP [2012] QDC 24

 

 

Disclaimer: This article is for general information and is not legal advice.  The law or the practice of the court may have changed since this article was published.  Always obtain legal advice if you need to appear in court. 

Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislatio

Fraud

Centrelink fraud

Intentionally providing Centrelink with incorrect or misleading information is an indictable offense under Australian law.  The offence can be committed in numerous ways; a person may fill out the forms with incorrect information, submit false statements, use multiple identities, fail to disclose all the relevant information they are obliged to disclose or they will fail to keep Centrelink updated with the latest information.

Section 135.2 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code stipulates that it is an offence for a person to obtain financial advantage, for themselves or for another person, which they are not eligible to receive, from a commonwealth entity.  The maximum penalty is 12 months imprisonment.  Centrelink fraud is treated very severely by the courts largely to deter any person from committing the crime as it is difficult to detect. 

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Stealing

Stealing is the term used to describe a broad range of offences in Queensland and includes the term “theft” which is widely used in other legal systems.  The definition of stealing is broad enough to include many different situations.   You should always seek legal representation for a stealing charge as the consequences, including the recording of a conviction, is potentially so severe and can have a serious and ongoing effect on your future.

 

What is stealing?

The offence of stealing can only be committed with regard to things “capable of being stolen.” The things capable of being stolen are the things which are moveable, or which can be made moveable. Immoveable things such as land and buildings cannot be stolen. Our Criminal Code specifies two ways in which this offence can be committed;

  1. Fraudulently taking anything capable of being stolen, or
  2. Fraudulently converting anything capable of being stolen to one’s own use or the use of somebody else.

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Assault

At Clarity Law our main focus is providing legal advice and representation to clients charged with committing an assault.  An assault charge can result in quite harsh penalties from the courts and the prospect of a criminal conviction preventing a person from travelling overseas or obtaining work.

There has been and remains a hardening attitude to assaults by the Queensland courts.  Where once the court would have merely imposed a fine they are more likely now to impose a jail sentence.  The courts have continued to state that they will be increasing penalties for violence to act as a deterrence.

 

What is assault?

The definition of an assault is where a person strikes, touches, moves, or otherwise applies force of any kind to another person, directly or indirectly, without the other person’s consent or threatens to apply force of any kind to another provided that the person making the attempt or threat has the ability to carry it out.  As you can see the definition of assault is wide enough that you can be charged with assault merely by threatening an assault.

 

Are there different types of assaults?

There are a number of different types of assault charges in Queensland ranging from common assault to assault occasioning grievous bodily harm.

 

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