Last year the Queensland Government drafted and approved numerous amendments to criminal legislation for our State. The higher profile changes were well publicised in the media. However, there were a significant amount of amendments that were not so well broadcast.
One such amendment was the introduction of a system whereby defendants are able to enter a plea of guilty online for minor offences in limited circumstances.
If you are eligible to do this, it may mean that you do not need to attend Court on the day your matter is to be heard.
Who is eligible?
A person who has received a summons pursuant to the Justices Act 1886 to appear in certain Magistrates Courts in relation to the following listed traffic offences may plead guilty on-line:
i) Driving an unregistered vehicle;
ii) Disobeying the speed limit; or
iii)Unlicensed driving; or
iv)Drive without due care and attention.
This does not include a Notice to Appear.
You can find the required form on the Queensland Government Website at the following address.
This form must be submitted at least two (2) clear days prior to your Court date. The onus is then upon you to contact the relevant Court Registry to confirm that they have received your plea of guilty form and also to confirm that you do not
have to attend Court.
On that basis the Magistrate can either deal with your matter in your absence or they have the discretion to adjourn your matter and require that you appear before the Court on the next Court date.
You will be advised of the outcome regardless of what happens.
Specifically, you will receive notification of the penalty imposed or alternatively a Notice of Local people. Local expertise. Industry leaders.
Adjournment. It may take up to seven (7) days to receive that correspondence.
The Court will not deal with your matter if it is going to impose a period of disqualification with respect to your driving licence so you will be required to appear before the Court if you find yourself in that situation.
This system is no doubt one of many steps towards the modernisation of the Courts in attempt to utilise the technology
available and which is used commonly by the majority of people in so many other areas of their lives.
If you are unsure if you are eligible or what to do, you can contact us and we can provide you the most appropriate advice for your particular situation.