ONE PUNCH CAN KILL
The one punch laws were passed in August 2014.
They were passed as part of the Queensland Governments Safe Night Out Strategy.
The laws create a new offence of “unlawful striking causing death”.
They also introduce sober safe centres in Brisbane CBD. The idea is to make Brisbane’s night life safer for people.
The new offence of unlawful striking causing death requires the prosecution to prove that the defendant unlawfully struck the other person to the head or neck and that caused the death of the other person.
The penalty is potentially life imprisonment. However, if someone is sentenced to a term of imprisonment, they must serve at least 80% of that term of 15 years, whichever is the lesser.
As part of the Government strategy to reduce violence, a parliamentary committee is due to report next week on new legislation called “Tackling Alcohol-fuelled Violence Legislation Amendment Bill”.
This bill would make new laws to stop the serving of alcohol at 2:00am, or at 3:00am with a 1:00am lockout.
There is considerable debate in the media at the moment as to whether these laws would be effective in reducing alcohol related violence. Some politicians are of the view that most violence takes place once people leave venues and not within them.
We can expect that there will be further debate about these laws, particularly the number of jobs they might put at risk.
Regardless of whether the bill becomes law, we can expect to see the courts imposing heavy sentences for violent offences which take place outside pubs and bars late at night.
The one punch charge is also likely to lead to significant penalties for those who are found guilty of this offence.
Howden Saggers Lawyers has experience in such matters. If you or someone you know has been charged with this offence give our office a call on (07) 5528 2344.