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DEPRIVATION OF LIBERTY

Deprivation of liberty is found in Section 355 of the Queensland Criminal Code. Section 355 says:

Any person who unlawfully confines or detains another in any place against the other person’s will, or otherwise unlawfully deprives another of the other person’s personal liberty, is guilty of a misdemeanour, and is liable to imprisonment for 3 years.

 

WHAT THE PROSECUTION MUST PROVE

 

To prove the offence of deprivation of liberty, the prosecution must prove the following beyond reasonable doubt:

  1. You unlawfully;
  2. Confined another person in any place;
  3. Against the other person’s will.

Or

  1. You unlawfully;
  2. Detained another person in any place;
  3. Against the other person’s will.

Or

  1. You unlawfully;
  2. Deprived another person of their personal liberty.

 

SO WHAT DOES DETAIN, RESTRAIN AND DEPRIVING LIBERTY MEAN?

 

To detain someone means to keep them in confinement or under restraint. You can keep someone under restraint by the use of threats. A defendant doesn’t need to use any force or any kind of physical restraint to detain someone. An example of this would be if a defendant made a person remain at a place against their will by the use of threats.

 

To deprive someone of their liberty means to take away the free choice of a person to move freely about as they want.

 

WHAT IS THE SENTENCE FOR DEPRIVATION OF LIBERTY?

In Queensland there are 3 types of criminal offences. These are misdemeanours, simple offences and crimes. Depending on the type of criminal offence you are charged with, this will determine the maximum penalty. Deprivation of liberty is defined in the Criminal Code as a misdemeanour.

The maximum penalty for a charge of deprivation of liberty is 3 years imprisonment. This does not mean the Court will sentence you to 3 years imprisonment for the offence. The maximum penalty highlights to the Court how serious the offence is.

 

WHERE WILL MY CHARGE BE HEARD?

 

A charge of deprivation of liberty will be heard in the Magistrates Court.

 

WHAT DEFENCES ARE THERE FOR DEPRIVATION OF LIBERTY?

The onus is on the prosecution to prove you committed the deprivation of liberty beyond reasonable doubt. The job of your criminal lawyer is to analyse the evidence and see if there are any defences you may have. If you can raise a defence, then the Court should not convict you of the offence. Therefore, it is important for you to seek legal advice, and not just plead guilty to the charge.

 

Possible defences to a charge of deprivation of liberty may include:

  1. The detention of the complainant was lawful.
  2. Honest and reasonable, but mistaken belief to the complainant consenting.
  3. The complainant consented to the deprivation.

 

 

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IF CHARGED WITH DEPRIVATION OF LIBERTY

While you may think deprivation of liberty is a minor charge, it still has a maximum penalty of 3 years imprisonment. Not all offences have a penalty of imprisonment. This means in some circumstances; a Magistrate or Judge could sentence a person to jail. It is critical you get advice from a criminal lawyer who can best represent you. Don’t risk going to Court alone thinking everything will be alright.

The criminal lawyers at the Criminal Lawyers Brisbane Group can:

  1. Let you know how serious the charge is considering the facts alleged against you.
  2. Identify any defences open to you.
  3. Tell you the best direction you should take with your deprivation of liberty charge.
  4. See if there is any way to resolve the matter outside of the courts.
  5. Identify any mitigating factors in your favour to tell the court about in the event you plead guilty.

If you have charged with deprivation of liberty, get legal advice now. Don’t sit back thinking the charge will go away, or it is minor. Every criminal offence is serious and can have serious consequences for you. You need the experience of the Criminal Lawyers Brisbane Group in your corner fighting for you. Pick up the phone and dial (07) 3153 6215 or fill out the form below for a free no-obligation chat. Contacting us may be the best thing you do. 

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