Traffic Law Offences QLD

Criminal legal

This article will provide an overview of the types of traffic law offences in Queensland, how charges are laid, the court process, penalties, and consequences

In Queensland, as in other parts of Australia, traffic offences are taken very seriously. The traffic law offences cover a wide range of violations from minor offences like speeding or not wearing a seatbelt to more serious offences like drink driving or dangerous driving.

Types of Traffic Law Offences in QLD

Speeding

Exceeding the speed limit is a common offence and penalties vary based on how much over the speed limit you were driving.

Drink Driving

Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offence. The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit in Queensland is 0.05. Penalties are more severe for higher BAC levels and for repeat offenders.

Drug Driving

Driving under the influence of drugs is also a serious offence. This includes both illegal drugs and certain prescription or over-the-counter medications.

Dangerous Driving

This includes reckless driving, driving at a speed or in a manner dangerous to others, and causing death or grievous bodily harm while driving.

Driving Without a License

This includes driving without a valid license, driving while disqualified, or driving while your license is suspended.

Not Wearing a Seatbelt

Both the driver and the passengers must wear seatbelts at all times.

Mobile Phone Use

It is illegal to use a mobile phone while driving unless it is hands-free.

Failing to Stop for Police

It is an offence to fail to stop your vehicle when directed to do so by a police officer.

How Charges are Laid for traffic offences in QLD

Charges for traffic offences are typically laid by the police. For minor offences, you may be issued with an infringement notice (fine) on the spot or receive it in the mail. For more serious offences, you may be arrested and taken to a police station where you will be formally charged. You may then be released on bail or held in custody until your court appearance.

Court Process

For minor offences, you do not need to go to court unless you wish to contest the charge. You can simply pay the fine and incur the associated demerit points on your license.

For more serious offences, you will need to appear in court. The court process typically involves the following steps:

  1. First Appearance: This is your first appearance in court where you will be formally charged. You can plead guilty or not guilty. If you plead guilty, the court will proceed to sentencing. If you plead not guilty, the matter will be set down for a hearing or trial.

  2. Hearing or Trial: This is where the evidence is presented to the court. The prosecution will present their case first, followed by the defence. Witnesses may be called, and evidence may be presented.

  3. Decision: After hearing all the evidence, the magistrate or judge will make a decision. If you are found guilty, the court will proceed to sentencing.

Penalties and Consequences for traffic offences in QLD

The penalties for traffic offences vary depending on the nature and severity of the offence. Penalties may include fines, demerit points, license disqualification, or imprisonment. The court will take into account various factors when determining the penalty, including your driving history, the circumstances of the offence, and any other relevant factors.

Consequences of traffic offences may include increased insurance premiums, loss of employment (particularly if driving is a requirement of your job), and difficulty in obtaining a license in the future.

Conclusion

Traffic law offences in Queensland cover a wide range of violations from minor to serious offences. The process of laying charges and the court process varies depending on the nature of the offence. Penalties and consequences can be severe, particularly for more serious offences. It is always advisable to seek legal advice if you are charged with a traffic offence.