I know I thanked you before we parted company but please allow me to reiterate in writing my sincere deepest thanks for defending me in court today. … Armstrong Legal certainly has a great Lawyer you are a credit to the company and I'm quite sure you will secure a very successful future! … My Kindest Regards and Thanks
Anastasia Qvist is an outstanding lawyer. My criminal law situation (family violence order) was difficult, complex and Ana's diligence saved me as I was going through the most difficult period of my life. Ana is down to earth, commonsense and she even kept our costs to a minimum. She is a skilled litigator and knows the ins and outs of the ACT Magistrates Court. She dealt skillfully with the DPP and is an excellent negotiator. You will get a fair representation and she genuinely cares about her clients. She has my complete recommendation. The lady goes to bat for her clients.
I would strongly recommend Anastasia to anyone who is seeking legal representation. As a first-time offender who was charged with a Level 2 Drink Driving offence, she walked me through every step of the matter and was very upfront and clear on all aspects of my case. She was always accessible when I needed advice. Her approach and advice were excellent. Under her representation, I received the best possible outcome and managed to avoid a criminal conviction. She was a pleasure to deal with throughout the whole matter.
Anastasia Qvist was very professional and helpful in every step of my matter. I got a very good outcome and I can’t thank you enough for your hard work and the Armstrong Legal team in Canberra. I would highly recommend her!!!
Throughout Angela has been the consummate professional. She maintained a calm, yet strong demeanour remained informative and completely open in her communication and took complete ownership of the situation. We felt confident we finally had an advocate to steer us out of the nightmare we were in, and she did so with great respect and sincerity. I cannot speak more highly of Angela. She has literally rescued our family from what looked very much like a hopeless future.
Words can’t describe how grateful I am to Trudie Cameron being my solicitor and to Andrew Tiedt presenting my case in the court. They both have been very supportive and amazingly professional and effective. I’ve got an absolutely fantastic outcome I couldn’t even dream about.
Soon after meeting Andrew I knew he was the solicitor I wanted to handle my matter. He immediately sprang into action which brought me stability and hope during a tumultuous time in my life. Andrew was never afraid to give me straight answers to my tough questions which is a true mark of integrity. He is clearly at ease in the court environment and I believe his calm and measured demeanour went a long way to helping me secure the best result from my day in court. I would certainly recommend you approach Andrew if you need assistance.
"Andrew Tiedt was very professional and considerate to personal circumstances and gave sound advice that resulted in the best outcome possible. Highly recommended."
Penalty Units (Qld)
The maximum sentence for criminal offences in Queensland is often stated as a number of months or years of imprisonment. However, for some offences, the maximum punishment for the crime is written as a number of penalty units (sometimes abbreviated to PU). The legislation which governs how penalties and sentences are handed down, including penalty units, is the Penalties and Sentencing Act 1992.
A magistrate or judge that is handing down a sentence for a crime in Queensland will take into account various factors when deciding what is the most appropriate punishment. These considerations include:
- how serious the crime was that was committed;
- how the crime impacted any victims;
- the personal circumstances of the offender;
- the criminal history of the offender; and
- the offender’s co-operation with the police.
If the crime took place under circumstances of aggravation, meaning that the seriousness of the crime was increased in some way, then a greater penalty may be applied. A crime may be said to have been committed with aggravation where a weapon was used or where the crime was co-ordinated and committed by more than one person.
How much is a penalty unit?
A penalty unit corresponds to an amount of money that from time to time can be changed. One penalty unit in Queensland, for most offences, currently corresponds to the dollar amount of $133.45. This has been the case since July 2020. For offences against certain local laws or laws under specific legislation, such as the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, the dollar amount for a penalty unit is slightly less. The value is increased by 3.5% each year on 1 July unless the Queensland Treasurer nominates another amount before 1 March.
What is the benefit of penalty units?
The existence of penalty units allows for the values of fines to be updated quickly and easily where changes in the value of currency occur due to factors such as inflation. It also allows for penalties to be easily changed where there is a change in public policy.
Corresponding amount of jail time
A penalty unit usually has a corresponding amount of jail time that can be served instead of payment. This can be served by those not willing or able to pay the fine or where a magistrate or judge deems that jail time is more appropriate.
Calculating fines using penalty units
Where offences have a prescribed infringement notice, the amount of the fine is rounded down to the nearest whole dollar. For other offences, the amount must be rounded down to the nearest 5 cent increment.
An example: bringing alcohol into a prohibited area
In Queensland, there are certain areas where alcohol is prohibited or restricted. In these areas, if you bring in an amount of alcohol that is over the allowed limit, you are committing an offence. This offence is usually made punishable by a number of penalty units. The maximum penalty units that can be issued as punishment for this offence are as follows:
- first offence – 375 penalty units which translates to $50,043;
- second offence – 525 penalty units which translates to $70,061 (alternatively six months imprisonment);
- further offences – 750 penalty units which translates to $100,087 (alternatively 18 months imprisonment).
Punishments other than sentences
Sometimes a punishment can be issued for an offence that is not a criminal sentence or a penalty unit. This is usually the case in circumstances where the government wants to eradicate a certain type of crime. One example of a punishment that can be imposed in addition to a criminal sentence or penalty unit is the confiscation or impounding of a vehicle. This punishment is available for the offence of hooning or driving without care and attention. The penalty units that are available as a punishment for this offence are a maximum of forty. Alternatively, an offender can be imprisoned for six months.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.
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WHERE TO NEXT?
If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.
WHY CHOOSE ARMSTRONG LEGAL?
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