❇ Community Custodial Breaches (Parole/SuspSent/ICO/Probtn Violations & Penalties) ❇
Applying to Search and Copy Ct Docs: You can apply online to search and copy documents held in the Supreme and District Courts or the Brisbane Magistrates Court.
📚Regarding your Court Brief (QP9). It will be given at the first mention, unless otherwise applied.*Nb:- if pleading guilty, you are pleading, not just to the charge(s), but to all the events the police allege, & the way they present them, as true. This may impact sentencing penalty/leniency later. Read the police court brief very carefully before making your plea. Disputing facts that the police prosecutor is not inclined to alter will result in a trial date to review evidence for the claims of the QP9. Serious matters involve a full evidence brief .
📚Regarding your “Brief of Evidence (Not Guilty Plea)“, with all warrants, recordings, interviews, security/street/body camera video, witness statements, photos, txt/cell phone/computer/intercepted data (etal): Once formally requested, the prosecution will be given time to prepare it (usually at least 6 weeks). More time will be granted as required. Though a prosecutor should provide you with a partial brief within 14 days after the second mention. Especially when disputing claims/pleading not guilty, review the full BoE.
Mag, Call-Over & Police Ct Daily lists:
- Committal Callover—held in Court 20 every Monday
- Summary Trial Callover—held in Court 20 every Wednesday.
“They who choose to defend themselves, in a court of law, have a fool for a client“; Heidecker Educational series:-
MagCt General Hearing Schedule (Brisbane Central 2018) [Quick reference only]
Sentencing: Prison time.
Of nb, pleading in the MagCt will limit max to ~3yrs. the Judge-Magistrate must accept your plea, however: “Magistrates Court can also deal with more serious offences (indictable offences) that meet certain eligibility criteria, in which case the maximum penalty the Court can impose is 3 years imprisonment or 100 penalty units (currently a penalty unit in Queensland is $100); in the case of drug court matters the maximum penalty is 4 years imprisonment or 100 penalty units where the prosecuting authority and the offender consent to the offence being dealt with in this way. A [Judge] does not have to deal with these more serious matters if they decide that the offences should be dealt with in either the District or Supreme Court, including on the basis that the defendant, if convicted, may not be adequately punished” (QLDSentencingCouncil 2010)
Burglary / Break And Enter:
(Sentencing Trends 007, NSW Judicial Commission).
Held In Prison Remand Without Sentence:
In-prison-without-charge (ie on remand awaiting trial) is at record levels (2017). “Reasons for this may be that more people are being refused bail, and that there are backlogs of cases in courts“
“Of defendants sentenced to Custody in a correctional institution in 2015–16:
- 62% (25,382) were sentenced to a term of imprisonment of less than 12 months;
- 22% (9,081) were sentenced to a term of imprisonment between 1 and 2 years; and
- 15% (6,293) were sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 2 years and over. (Table 48d)
- The median sentence length for defendants sentenced to community service orders for All Courts has remained unchanged at 80 hours in 2015–16
- The most prevalent principal proven offences for which defendants were sentenced to community service orders were:
- Acts intended to cause serious injury (21% or 4,130 defendants) with a median sentence length of 100 hours;
- Traffic and vehicle regulatory offences (15% or 3,038 defendants) with a median sentence length of 100 hours; and
- Theft and related offences (11% or 2,226 defendants) with a median sentence length of 60 hours. (Table 49)
The median fine imposed for those defendants given a principal sentence of a fine was $471 in 2015–16:
- $1,500 in the Higher Courts;
- $477 in the Magistrates’ Courts; and
- $200 in the Children’s Courts.
In the Magistrates’ Courts, the highest median fine amounts were given for the following principal proven offences:
- Sexual assault and related offences ($1,000);
- Dangerous and negligent acts endangering persons ($1,000); and
- Unlawful entry with intent/burglary, break and enter ($800). (Table50)” (ABS 2018)
The vast majority of all possessing dangerous drugs offences (MSO) were finalised in the Magistrates Court (96.9%). No mandatory imprisonment penalty exists for possessing dangerous drugs in Queensland. Courts retain wide discretion for deciding the types of penalties for such offences, with aggravating and mitigating circumstances. Magistrates Courts: 95 per cent of these offenders receiving non–custodial penalties. In contrast, 80 per cent of offenders sentenced for possessing dangerous drugs (as their MSO) in the Supreme Court and 73 per cent of those sentenced in the District Court did receive a custodial prison penalty. From 2005-2017, 93.2 per cent of sentenced offenders who had a drug possession offence as their MSO received a non-custodial penalty. Average fine amount is much lower for young offenders at $230.00 compared to $554.90 for adult offenders. However the average good behaviour bond for young people is longer than for adult offenders (5.3 months GBO youth and 4.6 months GBO adult respectively).
For the remaining adult offenders, who received a custodial penalty, actual imprisonment was the most likely sentence imposed (57.3%). Median custodial sentence length was four months and the average custodial sentence length was eight months. Across custodial penalty types, the length of custodial sentences ranged from one day to 11.5 years.
Also consider Multiple Offenses & Violating Bail. When multiple offenses are brought to be answered, they are sentenced separately for each offense. “The court may order that the sentences be served at the same time (concurrent sentences) or after the first sentence has been served (cumulative sentences). Most sentences are ordered to be served concurrently“. Violent crime & homicide/murder is covered elsewhere.
Overall, fines and other monetary penalties accounted for 81 per cent of sentence outcomes in the Magistrates Court. 3% of criminal defendants sentenced in this court received imprisonment. <1% received a partially suspended sentence and 2% received a wholly suspended sentence.
“The most common sentences imposed by the District (44%) and Supreme Courts (50%) was imprisonment. The higher courts were also more likely to impose partially and wholly suspended sentences than the Magistrates Court. The District and Supreme Courts experienced a marked increase in the use of imprisonment and a decreased use of partially and wholly suspended sentences after the introduction of court ordered parole in 2006. The imposition of imprisonment for criminal defendants increased from 30 per cent to 46 per cent in the District Court from 2006 to 2007 and 34 per cent to 56 per cent from 2006 to 2008 in the Supreme Court”.
Parole is release before the end of a prison sentence – sometimes without ever setting foot in a jail. Conditions in addition to good behavior will be outlined via your ‘Parole Order’. If the Judge does not set a parole date, at the date of application the decision rests with DCS (correctional services). Violating parole conditions, & the enforcement of violations is at the discretion of the Parole Authority. There is a wide latitude here. They may take no action, or return a subject to prison. There are 3 main options at the disposal of the Parole Authority – “Amend, suspend or revoke“: amend or change the conditions that must be complied with; suspend the parole for up to a month, returning the subject to prison; or full revocation/cancellation. These are the same options that apply to a Parole Authority, when recommending to the board the best course of action, if a crime is committed while on parole. If revoked, a new ‘granted’ parole release date will not be automatically given; though a reapplication date will be supplied.
If a person commits a criminal offence while on parole, & the penalty is a prison sentence: parole is automatically revoked. Once revoked, being returned to prison for breaching parole is something that happens automatically.
Suspending a sentence, in whole or part, allows a subject to remain free; but with the possibility of serving the sentence if guidelines are violated. These come with an operational re-trigger period. This can be longer than the original sentence. For example, a 1yr fully suspended sentence, may have a re-trigger period of 2yrs: meaning any criminal conviction in the next 2yrs will re-trigger the original 1yr sentence, even if it is over 1yr ago. This is not automatic, however; breach of a suspended sentence means the subject will be returned to court and re-sentenced. It is possible that the Judge will not impose the prison term.
An ICO (Intensive Corrections Order Community Prison Term) is considered imprisonment, that just happens to be served in the community. Violation of an ICO can see the time remaining served in a prison. An ICO has a max limit of 1yr in order to be a sentencing option.
Probation is similar to a suspended sentence, except there is no prison sentence currently suspended. Probation is often used in conjunction with community service. Violation of probation means the subject will be returned to court to be re-sentenced for the original crime, at the court’s discretion.
If re-sentenced for a probation breach – even if only a fine &/or similar probation order is re-instated; the Judge-Magistrate also has full discretion over whether to record a conviction or not, irrespective of the initial ruling.
1. 📚Queensland Law Handbook (+++)
*OIC FOI-RTI Police & Forensics Access
- Adjourn w/Consent from other party (by 5pm 3 working days prior) (Online)
- File Other Legal Actions (Online)
- Preparing an investigator/paralegal brief. (1)(2)(3) & consider not (4).