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It’s now day five of Schoolies 2015 and police are deeming it the most well behaved group of schoolies they have ever seen. With infringement notices being issued 60% less than previous years, school leavers are being praised for their good behaviour. Though this may be the case, there are certain things Schoolies should be aware of.

For starters, if you’re convicted of a criminal offence, you could have serious trouble getting a job or even be prevented from obtaining a visa to travel overseas.

Offences that seem to be in the spot light thus far for 2015 school leavers are –

  • Public nuisance
  • Contravene direction or requirement
  • Drunk in public
  • Assault/obstruct police
  • Drinking in a public place

For those unaware of the consequences of these offences, see below for a guide –

Offences

Penalties

Public nuisance $1178; or

6 months imprisonment.

Contravene Direction or requirement The maximum penalty for this is $4,712.
Drunk in a public place The maximum penalty is $235.60.
Assault/obstruct police The maximum penalty for this is $4,712; or

6 months imprisonment.

Drinking in a public place An on the spot fine of $117 if under 18, $353 if over 18, or you could be taken to court with a maximum penalty of $2945.

Other more serious charges that are expected to pop up are –

  • Assault
  • Possess dangerous drugs
  • Supply dangerous drugs
  • Balcony jumping (engaging in high risk activity)

 

ASSAULT
There are four types of assault –

Description

Penalties

Common Assault This is the least serious of the four assaults. A person can be charged with this offence if they have moved or used force against another person. For example, pushing another person can amount to common assault.

 

The maximum penalty for this offence is 7 years imprisonment.

 

Serious Assault This is similar to common assault, but is the more relevant charge when the victim is –

  • Over 60; or
  • Relies on a guide dog; or
  • Is in a wheelchair; or
  • A police officer, nurse, transit officer, a member of the Queensland Ambulance Service etc.
The maximum penalty for this is 7 years imprisonment; or 14 years if the following are prevalent –

  • Biting or spitting on a police officer; or
  • Carrying or pretending to carry a dangerous weapon.
Assaults Occasioning Bodily Harm (AOBH) This is more serious than common assault and series assault because bodily harm is attached to the offence.

Bodily harm includes a black eye, bruises, scratches, a blood nose, and anything else that interferes with the health or comfort of the victim.

 

The maximum penalty for AOBH is 7 years imprisonment; or

10 years where there is more than one person involved, or if a dangerous weapon is involved.

 

Grievous Bodily Harm (GBH) This is the most serious of all three assaults. GBH comes about when the victim loses an organ, gains a serious disfigurement, or any other bodily injury that may amount to permanent injury to the victim. The maximum penalty for this offence is 14 years imprisonment.

 

 

POSSESSING DANGEROUS DRUGS
The penalties for this will depend on the drug in question as some drugs are considered more serious than others. The seriousness is divided into schedules –

Examples Schedule 3 Schedule 4 NOTE
Schedule 1 Cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, amphetamines etc. 25 years max. 25 years max. Schedule 1 drugs are more serious
Schedule 2 Cannabis, codeine etc. n/a 20 years max. Schedule 2 drugs are less serious

 

SUPPLYING DANGEROUS DRUGS

The maximum penalty for this offence is dependent on whether the drug is Schedule 1 or 2. The supply of Schedule 1 drugs will attract a higher penalty.

Another important thing to consider is whether the drug was supplied to a person under 18 years old. If so, this will be considered an ‘aggravating circumstance’ which attracts an even higher penalty.

Schedule 1 Schedule 2
Aggravated 25 years max. 20 years max.
Not aggravated 20 years max. 15 years max.

 

BALCONY JUMPING
Balcony jumping can be considered as engaging in high risk activity. It attracts a maximum penalty of $2,356 or 1 year jail.

 

 

 

If you, a friend, or family member have been charged with any of these offences please contact our office for free advice as soon as possible.

 

Written by Solicitor Dave Garratt LLB (Hons), Grad Dip LP