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UNLAWFUL CARNAL KNOWLEDGE

In Queensland, the offence of unlawful carnal knowledge (UCK) is contained in Section 215 of the Criminal Code. The offence makes it illegal for any person to have or attempt to have sexual intercourse with a child under the age of 16 years. In Queensland, a person under the age of 16 years cannot give their consent to having sexual intercourse.

 

WHAT DOES THE PROSECUTION NEED TO PROVE?

 

To prove the offence of unlawful carnal knowledge, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt: 

1. The defendant had or attempted to have carnal knowledge of or with the complainant. This means the defendant must have, or attempted to insert his penis into the complainant’s genitalia or anus. Penetration of the genitalia or anus to any extent will be sufficient. It does not matter if the defendant ejaculated or not. 

  1. The carnal knowledge must have been unlawful. This means it must not have been authorised, justified, or excused by the law. 
  1. The complainant was under 16 years of age.

 

WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM PENALTY?

The maximum penalty for the offence ranges from 14 years imprisonment to life imprisonment.

 

ARE THERE ANY DEFENCES?

 

If the child was 12 years or older, it is a defence to prove the defendant reasonably believed the child was 16 years or older.

If the child involved had an impairment of the mind, it is a defence for the defendant to prove the defendant reasonably believed the child was not a person with an impairment of the mind.

 

WHICH COURT WILL HEAR THE MATTER?

 

If the defendant pleads guilty and the child involved was 14 years or older, then the charge can be finalised in the Magistrates Court. If any of the following apply the charge must be finalised in the District Court: 

  • If the defendant is pleading not guilty.
  • If the child is under 14 years of age.
  • If the child is a person with an impairment of the mind.
  • If the defendant was the child’s guardian or, had the child under their care.

 

THE NEED FOR EXCELLENT LEGAL REPRESENTATION

If you have charged with unlawful carnal knowledge,  get legal advice now. Don’t sit back thinking the charge will go away. 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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