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Demanding Property With Menaces With Intent To Steal

Section 141 of the Queensland Criminal Code makes demanding property with menaces with intent to steal a criminal offence in Queensland, carrying a maxmimum penalty of three years imprisonment.

In Queensland, a court can impose any of the following penalties for a charge of demanding property with menaces to steal:

The Offence of Demanding Property with Menaces:

Section 414 of the Queensland Criminal Code creates the offence and reads:

“Any person who, with intent to steal anything, demands it from any person with threats of any injury or detriment of any kind to be caused to the other person, either by the offender or by any other person, if the demand is not complied with. Maximum penalty: 3 years imprisonment.”

What Actions Might Constitute Demanding Property with Menaces?

  • Threatening to injure a person if they do not give you their property.
  • A threat made to someone on social media or by another method demanding property.

What the Police Must Prove:

In order to be found guilty of demanding property with menaces, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  • A person had the intent to steal anything;
  • Demanded the thing from another person;
  • Threatened to injure or detriment of any kind to the person, either by themselves or by any other person, if the demand is not complied with.

Possible Defences:

The following defences may be available for the offence of demanding property with menaces:

  • Necessity;
  • Intoxication;
  • Identification (ie. not the accused);
  • Duress would apply to the offence of demanding property with menaces.
  • The accused was under duress to take the property.
  • The accused was not the person who took the property.

Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?

The charge of demanding menaces with intent to steal can be dealt with summarily in the Magistrates Court. However, the prosecution can elect that it be dealt with on indictment and be heard in the District Court.

Will I get a Criminal Conviction for Demanding Property With Menaces?

It is likely that a criminal conviction will be recorded against if you are found guilty of demanding property with menaces, however it is not a guarantee. If you have been charged with demanding property with menaces, it is important that you obtain legal advice and/or representation at an early stage in order to maximise your opportunity to avoid a criminal conviction for the offence.

Types of penalties:

Imprisonment : Even though it is not a sentence of last resort (as it is in some other states) imprisonment is the most serious penalty which a court can impose upon a person. At its most severe a sentence of imprisonment means that a person must spend a specified period of time within a correctional facility, also called a prison, a jail or a gaol. Read more.

Intensive corrections order (ICO): An Intensive Corrections Order (‘ICO’ for short) is, technically, a form of imprisonment but which is served wholly in the community. This means that a person who is made subject to an ICO will not spend any time in prison but will, instead, be required to adhere to a number of requirements that the court will order. Read more.

Probation: A court can make a Probation Order either by itself, meaning the whole of the sentence is probation, or as a component of a sentence of imprisonment, meaning that a person is ordered to serve a period of time (not longer than 1 year) in prison and is then subject to a probation requirement upon release. Read more.

Community service order(CSO): As the name implies, a Community Service Order (‘CSO’ for short) is an order which requires a person to perform unpaid work, normally at some kind of community facility, for a stated number of hours (to a maximum of 240) within a nominated time (usually 6 or 12 months). Read More.

Recognisance: A recognisance is a promise which a person makes to be of good behaviour for a stated period of time. A court is empowered to release a person who enters into a recognisance, either with a surety, which is a sum of money which the person agrees to pay if they breach the recognisance, or without one. Read More.

Fines: A court is empowered to impose a fine, which is a sum of money which a person is required to pay to the State, for any offence regardless of whether the law creating it nominates a fine as part of the applicable penalty. Read More.

Section 19 dismissal: A court can discharge a person absolutely, or upon them entering into a recognisance, without recording a conviction against them, if it is satisfied that it is appropriate to do so. Read More.

In all cases where you are sentenced to a penalty other than jail, the Court can choose not to record a conviction against you, meaning your criminal record will remain clear and any complications with work or travel may be avoided.


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