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COMMON CRIMINAL OFFENCES UNDER THE CRIMINAL CODE AND WHERE THEY MUST BE FINALISED

If the police charged you with a criminal offence in Queensland, the first court you will appear in is the Magistrates Court. The criminal offence you are charged with will determine where it is finalised. For example, some criminal offences are finalised in the Magistrates Court, while others are finalised in the District or Supreme Court. You need to know which Court the offence you are charged with will be finalised in, because this will determine the path it takes through the criminal justice system. We have detailed below many of the common criminal offences and the Courts they are each finalised in. You will note for some offences, the law allows the defendant or the prosecution to elect which Court the charge is finalised in.

Please note if the offence you are charged with must be finalised in the Magistrates Court, or you can elect for it to be finalised in the Magistrates Court, the Magistrate can refuse to deal with the charge. If the Magistrate is of the opinion, you would not be adequately punished for the offence in the Magistrates Court, then the charge must be committed to the District Court.

What happens if I am charged with offences to be finalised in the Magistrates Court (summary offences) and offences to be finalised in the District Court or Supreme Court (indictable offences)?

It is common for persons to be charged with offences that must be finalised in the Magistrates Court, and with offences to be finalised in the District or Supreme Court. For example, police may search a person’s home and charge the person with drug offences that must be finalised in the Magistrates Court, and other offences that must be finalised in the District Court. In this situation, the offences that must be finalised in the District Court will proceed through the Magistrates Court to the District Court. The remaining offences will stay in the Magistrates Court until the defendant decides what they are doing with the indictable offences.

If there is a connection between the summary offences and the indictable offences and the defendant pleads guilty, it is possible for the District or Supreme Court to deal with all charges. To do this, the summary charges must be transmitted to the District or Supreme Court by a Section 651 Criminal Code 1899 Application.  

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW SUMMARY CHARGES ARE FINALISED IN THE MAGISTRATES COURT

If your charge must be finalised in the Magistrates Court, then you will want to know the process for summary charges in the Court. Please click the link below to learn more about the process.

LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW INDICATBLE OFFENCES PROCEED THROUGH THE MAGISTRATES COURT

If your charge must be finalised in the District or Supreme Court, then you will want to know the process the charge will follow in the Magistrates Court. Please click the link below to learn more about the process.

Accessory after the fact to murder- s307 Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Supreme Court.

Acts intended to cause grievous bodily harm and other malicious acts- s317 Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Affray- s72 Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court. 

Aiding suicide- s311 Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Supreme Court.

Armed robbery- s409(1)(2) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Arson- s431 Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Assault with intent to steal - s413 Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Assaults occasioning bodily harm (Simpliciter)- s339(1) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Exception: The defendant can elect for the charge to be finalised in the District Court.

Assaults occasioning bodily harm whilst armed or in company- s339(3) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Exception: The defendant can elect for the charge to be finalised in the District Court.

Assault with intent to commit rape- s351 Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Exception:  If the complainant was 14 years or older and the defendant is pleading guilty, the defendant can elect for the charge to be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Attempted Murder- s306 Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Supreme Court.

Attempted Robbery (Simpliciter)- s412(1) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Exception: The defendant can elect for the charge to be finalised in the District Court.

Attempted Robbery (Aggravated – armed, in company or wounds or uses personal violence) – s412(2)(3)Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Attempted incest- s222(2) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Exception:  If the complainant was 14 years or older and the defendant is pleading guilty, the defendant can elect for the charge to be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Attempt to commit rape- s350 Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Exception:  If the complainant was 14 years or older and the defendant is pleading guilty, the defendant can elect for the charge to be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Bestiality- Section 211 Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Breaking and Entering (or being in) premises and commit indictable offence- s421(3) Criminal Code 1899.

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Exception: if there is an indictable offence committed in the premises and the indictable offence is to be heard on indictment or would be required to be heard on indictment if the charge were laid, then this offence must go to the same court as where the indictable offence is being finalised. If the damage caused by the break is valued at $30,000 or more and the defendant does not plead guilty, then the offence must be finalised in the District Court.

Bringing stolen goods into Queensland- s406 Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Exception: where the stolen goods are valued at $30,000 or more, and the defendant is pleading not guilty, then the charge must be finalised in the District Court.

Burglary by breaking- s419(1)(4)Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Exception: if there is an indictable offence committed in the dwelling and the indictable offence is to be heard on indictment or would be required to be heard on indictment if the charge were laid, then this offence must go to the same court as where the indictable offence is being finalised.

Burglary – (Enters or is in the dwelling with intent to commit an indictable offence)- s419(1) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Burglary at night and/or in company/and or with property damage –s419(1)(3)(a)(b) (iii)(iv)Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Exception: where the value of property damage is valued at $30,000 or more, and the defendant is pleading not guilty, then the charge must be finalised in the District Court.

Burglary with violence and/or while armed- s419(1)(3)(i)(ii)Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Carnal Knowledge or Attempted carnal Knowledge with or of children under 16 (Simpliciter)- s215(1)(2) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Exception:  If the child was 14 years or older and the defendant is pleading guilty, the defendant can elect for the charge to be finalised in the Magistrates Court.                  

Carnal Knowledge or Attempted carnal Knowledge with or of children under 16 (where the child is under 12 years of age)- s215(1)(3) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Carnal Knowledge or Attempted carnal Knowledge with or of children under 16 (where the child is not the lineal descendant of the defendant, but the defendant is the child’s guardian or had the child under their care at the time of the offence)- s215(1)(4) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Carnal Knowledge or Attempted carnal Knowledge with or of children under 16 (where the child has an impairment of the mind)- (s215(1)(4A) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld))

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Common assault - s335 Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Conspiring to murder- s309 Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Dangerous operation of a vehicle (Simpliciter)- s328A(1) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Dangerous operation of a vehicle where the defendant was adversely affected by an intoxicating substance; or was excessively speeding or taking part in an unlawful race or unlawful speed trial; or has been previously convicted either upon indictment or summarily of an offence of Dangerous operation of a vehicle- s328A(2) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Exception: The defendant can elect for the charge to be finalised in the District Court.

Dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death or grievous bodily harm- s328A(1)(4) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Demanding property with menaces with intent to steal- s414 Criminal Code 1899.

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Deprivation of Liberty- s355 Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Distributing child exploitation material- s228C Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Entering or being in premises with intent to commit indictable offence- s421(1) Criminal Code 1899.

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Entering or being in premises and commit indictable offence- s421(2) Criminal Code 1899.

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Exception: if there is an indictable offence committed in the premises and the indictable offence is to be heard on indictment or would be required to be heard on indictment if the charge were laid, then this offence must go to the same court as where the indictable offence is being finalised.

Extortion- s415 Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court. 

Forgery and uttering- s488(1) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Exception: if the value of the yield to the defendant, or the detriment caused, is $30,000 or more and the defendant does not plead guilty, then the charge must be finalised in the District Court.

Fraud– s408C(1) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Exception: the value of property, the yield to the defendant or the detriment caused is $30,000 or more and defendant does not plead guilty, then the charge must be finalised in the District Court.

 

Going armed so as to cause fear- s69 Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Grievous bodily harm- s320 Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Indecent acts- s227 Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Indecent treatment of children under 16 (Simpliciter - if the child is of, or above the age of 12 years)- s210(1)(2) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Exception:  If the child was 14 years or older and the defendant is pleading guilty, the defendant can elect for the charge to be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Indecent treatment of children under 16 (Aggravated – the child is under 12 or the child has an impairment of the mind, the child is to the knowledge of the defendant his or her lineal descendant, or if the defendant is the guardian of the child or, had the child under his or her care) – (Section 210 (1)(3), Section 210(4), Section 210 (4A) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld))

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Incest –s222(1) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Exception:  If the complainant was 14 years or older and the defendant is pleading guilty, the defendant can elect for the charge to be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Involving child in making child exploitation material- s228A Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Killing unborn child- s313 Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Supreme Court.

Maintaining a sexual relationship with a child- s229B Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Making child exploitation material- s228B Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Manslaughter- ss303, 310 Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Supreme Court.

Murder- s305 Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Supreme Court.

Observations or recordings in breach of privacy- s227A Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Obtaining or dealing with identification information- 408D Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Obtaining property by passing valueless cheques – s427A Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Possession of things used in connection with unlawful entry- s425 Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Possessing child exploitation material- s228D Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Rape-s349 Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Exception:  If the complainant was 14 years or older and the defendant is pleading guilty, the defendant can elect for the charge to be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Receiving tainted property- s433(1)(a) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Exception: if the value of the property subject of the offence is $30,000 or more, and the defendant does not plead guilty, then the charge must be finalised in the District Court.

Robbery- s409(1) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Serious Assault- s340 Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Exception: the prosecution can elect for the charge to be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Setting fire to crops and growing crops- s463 Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Sexual assault- s352(1) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Exception:  If the complainant was 14 years or older and the defendant is pleading guilty, the defendant can elect for the charge to be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Sexual assault with a circumstance of aggravation- s352(1)(2)or s352(1)(3) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Stealing- s398(1) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Exception: if the value of the property subject of the stealing is $30,000 or more, and the defendant does not plead guilty, then the charge must be finalised in the District Court.

Threats- s359 Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Threatening violence (Simpliciter)- s75(1) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Threatening violence in the night- Section 75(2) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Torture- s320A Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Unlawful entry of vehicle for committing indictable offence- s427(1) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Unlawfully entering a vehicle with intent to commit an indictable offence in the night and/or in company and/or with property damage) s427(1)(2)(b)(iii)(iv) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Exception: if the value of the property damage is $30,000 or more, and the defendant is pleading not guilty then the charge must be finalised in the District Court.

Unlawful stalking- s359E (1) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Exception: The defendant can elect for the charge to be finalised in the District Court.

Unlawful stalking (Aggravated)- s359E(1)(3) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Unlawful use or possession of motor vehicles, aircraft or vessels (Simpliciter) - s408A(1)(a) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Exception: where the value of the motor vehicle, aircraft or vessel is $30,000 or more, and the defendant is pleading not guilty, then the charge must be finalised in the District Court.

Unlawfully entering a vehicle with intent to commit an indictable offence with violence or while armed- s427(1)(2)(b)(i)(ii) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Unlawful use or possession of motor vehicles, aircraft or vessels (Aggravated i.e. the defendant used or intended to use the motor vehicle, aircraft or vessel for the purpose of facilitating the commission of an indictable offence)- s408A(1)(1A) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Exception: where the charge for the indictable offence that was to be facilitated or was facilitated is to be heard and decided on indictment, or would be required to be heard and decided on indictment if the charge were laid, then the charge must be finalised in the District Court.

Using Internet etc. to procure children under 16 (Simpliciter)- if the child is of, or above the age of 12 years)- s218A(1) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Exception:  If the child was 14 years or older and the defendant is pleading guilty, the defendant can elect for the charge to be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Using Internet etc. to procure children under 16, if the child is of, or above the age of 12 years- (s218A(1) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld)).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Using Internet etc. to procure children under 16 if the child is under 12 years or age, or the defendant believed the person was under 12 years of age, or the offence involves the defendant intentionally meeting the person; or going to a place with the intention of meeting the person- s218A(1)(2) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.

Unlawful use or possession of motor vehicles, aircraft or vessels (Aggravated i.e. the defendant wilfully destroyed, damaged, removed or otherwise interfered with the mechanism (or part thereof) or other part of or equipment attached to the motor vehicle, aircraft or vessel; or intended to destroy, damage, remove or otherwise interfere with the mechanism (or part thereof) or other part of or equipment attached to the motor vehicle, aircraft or vessel- s408A(1)(1B) Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Exception: where the value of the destruction/damage/detriment/interference with the motor vehicle, aircraft or vessel is $30,000 or more, and the defendant is pleading not guilty or where the value of the motor vehicle, aircraft or vessel is $30,000 or more, and the defendant is pleading not guilty, then the charge must be finalised in the District Court. 

Wilful damage- s469 Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the Magistrates Court.

Exception: if the wilful damage is destroying or damaging premises by explosives, or Sea walls and other property or to railways, or to aircraft or to other things of special value (vessel etc.) the charge must be finalised in the  District Court.

Wounding- s323 Criminal Code 1899 (Qld).

Must be finalised in the District Court.