What is a QP9? (Qld)
A QP9 is a document prepared by the Queensland Police when a person is charged with criminal offences. It contains a charge sheet, which sets out the offences the person is charged with, and a summary of the alleged facts. If the accused has a prior criminal or traffic record, this will usually be attached to the QP9. The QP9 may also contain a summary of the evidence that is available to police should the matter proceed to a contested hearing. A QP9 is usually provided to the accused or their lawyer at the first court mention.
What do I do with the QP9?
Once you have been to court and received the QP9 from the police, you need to review the charges and alleged facts carefully. If it is a simple matter and you agree with the allegations, you may be able to finalise it at the first mention. In most cases, though, it will be necessary to get an adjournment to review the QP9 and decide how you are going to proceed.
If you have a lawyer, they will go through the alleged facts with you and find out your side of the story. If what you say happened is very different from what the police say happened, your lawyer may advise you to plead not guilty. If you want to plead guilty but there are aspects of the alleged facts that you disagree with, your lawyer will try to negotiate with the police for the alleged facts to be amended so that the matter can be finalised as a plea. The police are often agreeable to doing this in order to avoid the need for a contested hearing.
If you are representing yourself, you should read through the alleged facts and see whether you accept them. You should review each of the offences you have been charged with and have a look at the legislation, which will tell you the elements of the offence and the applicable maximum penalty. If you are satisfied that the alleged facts are accurate and that each of the elements of each of the offences is made out, you may proceed to plead guilty. If the charges are serious, you should always seek the advice of a lawyer.
What if the QP9 is incorrect?
Sometimes a person wants to plead guilty to the charge but the QP9 contains statements that they believe are untrue. If the police are not willing to amend the alleged facts, a person in this situation may opt to set the matter down for a disputed facts hearing.
A disputed facts hearing is a contested hearing where the accused is not denying that they committed the offence but is disputing the way the police say the offence occurred.
It is important that you agree with the alleged facts contained in a QP9 if you are pleading guilty. The court will decide on the appropriate sentence based on these facts. They are also a formal record of what you have pleaded guilty to.
What is the difference between a QP9 and a brief of evidence?
While a QP9 is provided at the first court mention for a matter, a brief of evidence is provided at a later stage, if the accused has indicated that they are considering pleading not guilty.
A brief of evidence contains all of the evidence that the prosecution intends to rely on to prove the offence. It may include witness statements, CCTV footage, police interviews, medical reports and DNA evidence. A QP9 is limited to the charge sheet, alleged facts and the accused’s prior criminal record.
A brief of evidence is provided so that the defence can begin preparing to defend a matter and to assess the strength of the prosecution case. If it appears the prosecution case is strong, the accused may decide to plead guilty to take advantage of the sentencing discount for doing so.
QP9 remains on police records
A QP9 remains on the Queensland Police’s records. If a person is charged with more offences in the future, it may be used as a record of their prior offending. It may also be disclosed to third parties in response to a police check. For these reasons, it is important that a QP9 is an accurate reflection of what happened.
Can I get a copy of a QP9?
If you are the victim of a crime or their legal representative, you can obtain a copy of the QP9 from the Queensland Police. This may occur where the QP9 is required for the purpose of making an application for criminal injuries compensation. However, the QP9 will be provided only after the matter has been finalised and the appeal period has elapsed.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.