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  • Home Resources & Technical Articles Driving & Traffic Offences Failing to Stop for Police Offences Failing to Stop for Police Offences and Penalties in Queensland (QLD)

    Failing to Stop for Police Offences and Penalties in Queensland (QLD)

    In Queensland (QLD), it is obligatory for a driver to stop their vehicle after receiving an order from the police to do so. Failure to stop the vehicle or an act of evasion could result in the police going in pursuit of the offender. Such acts are criminal offences punishable by law.

    If caught, the police officer can apprehend and subsequently ensure that they face trial for their action.

    Queensland does not take this offence of failing to stop lightly. Therefore, there are several laws and penalties that Queensland has put in place to discourage people from committing this offence. These rules and sanctions are in the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 (Qld).

    This article will discuss the law on failing to stop a vehicle after a police officer has given the order, including the penalties.

    Furthermore, this write-up will state the possible defences against the allegation of failing to stop a vehicle after receiving the order.

    If an individual is convicted in a QLD court for a failing to stop for police offence, the offence will show up as a disclosable court outcome (DCO) on a national criminal background check in QLD.

    What the Law Says Concerning Failing to Stop the Vehicle after Receiving an Order

    The Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 (Qld) contains different offences for failing to stop a vehicle after a police officer has given the order. These crimes are:

    #1. The Offence of a Driver Failing to Stop Motor Vehicle

    Section 754 of the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 (Qld) establishes that a police officer can order a driver to bring their vehicle to a halt while using their service vehicle.

    After receiving this order, such a person must stop their vehicle as quickly as possible. Failure to do this can attract a maximum of 300 penalty units or three years imprisonment.

    Furthermore, the court will disqualify the offender from obtaining or possessing a licence for two years. However, before a court can convict a person for an offence under this section, the prosecution must establish that:

    • The defendant was driving a motor vehicle.
    • The police, using their service vehicle, ordered the defendant to bring their vehicle to a halt.
    • The defendant did not comply with this order or tried to evade the police.
    • The defendant has no justifiable excuse for failing to stop their vehicle.

    #2. Stopping Vehicles for Prescribed Purposes

    Section 60 of the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 (Qld) states that the police can order an individual operating a vehicle to stop the vehicle for a prescribed purpose.

    The prescribed purpose could be any of the following:

    • The Police officer stopped the vehicle to enforce a transport law or any law regarding heavy vehicles.
    • The police officer wants to determine if the vehicle or the driver complies with transport laws.
    • The officer intends to monitor or enforce the regulations regarding the use of alcohol while driving.
    • The officer wants to ensure that the driver is not throwing litter out of their vehicle.
    • The police officer intends to carry out a breath or saliva test.
    • The officer wants to investigate if a motor vehicle or motorbike produces excessive noise.
    • The police officer wants to give a driver an instruction that will help reduce the noise coming from their vehicle.
    • The police officer wants to impound or immobilise a motor vehicle.
    • The officer intends to enforce the Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act 1998 (Qld).
    • The police officer wants to implement any laws in the Peace and Good Behaviour Act 1982 (Qld).
    • Finally, the officer intends to issue an official warning for the crime of consorting.

    An offender under this section would face a possible fine of 60 penalty units if they were driving a private vehicle. On the other hand, if it were a heavy vehicle, the penalty would be a fine of 90 penalty units.

    However, before a court can convict a person or give a penalty for the crime of failing to stop a vehicle for a prescribed purpose, the prosecution will need to show that:

    • The defendant drove a vehicle on the road.
    • The defendant received an order from a police officer to stop their vehicle.
    • The police officer's purpose for ordering the defendant to stop their vehicle was for a prescribed one.
    • The accused was aware of the order.
    • The accused did not comply with the order they received from the police.
    • The defendant has no justifiable reason for their action.

    The Rights of a Person Stopped By the Police

    While it is true that a police officer has a right to pull a vehicle over, this authority is not limitless. The person pulled over also has certain rights under the law, including:

    • The person can ask for the identity of the police officer that has told them to stop their vehicle.
    • The individual could ask why the officer is requesting their details.
    • The person has the right to state their name and address.
    • The individual can try to record the witnesses present at the incident.
    • The person has the right to say that they are unwilling to answer a particular question.

    Possible Defences Against the Allegation of Failing to Stop a Vehicle for Police

    The defences available to a person facing the allegation of failing to stop a vehicle are:

    #1. The Accused Was Not Aware of the Order

    A defendant can claim that they committed the offence of stopping their vehicle because they were not aware of the police order. This could result from the order not being audible enough or the accused misinterpreting the message received.

    #2. The Defendant Could Not Stop the Vehicle

    The defendant might have a defence if they committed the crime of not stopping a vehicle because they were trying to prevent a terrible event. Specifically, it might be that stopping the vehicle would endanger the defendant or someone else.

    #3. The Police Officer Was in an Unmarked Vehicle>

    A police officer in an unmarked vehicle makes it possible for the defendant to claim that they mistook the identity of the police officer. This principle also applies if the officer was not wearing a uniform and had no means of identification.

    The Court that Handles the Trials for the Offences that Has to Do With Failing to Stop a Vehicle

    In Queensland, the Magistrate Court conducts most of the trials for offences regarding failing to stop a vehicle.

    Bottom Line

    A conviction for any offences regarding failing to stop a vehicle can negatively impact a person's life. This is because a person may have to pay a heavy fine or face imprisonment. Apart from this, the individual may end up with a criminal record capable of affecting the quality of their life.

    Will a failing to stop for police offence in QLD show up on a criminal history check?

    If an individual is found guilty of a failing to stop for police offence in QLD, the offence will show up as a disclosable court outcome (DCO) on the results of their criminal background check.

    Individuals can obtain a national police clearance online via the Australian National Character Check - ANCC® website.

    Sources

    Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 (Qld) - https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/view/html/inforce/current/act-2000-005

    Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 (Qld) (Austlii References) - http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/qld/consol_act/ppara2000365/

    Tobacco and Other Smoking Products Act 1998 (Qld) - https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/view/html/inforce/current/act-1998-001

    Peace and Good Behaviour Act 1982 (Qld) - http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/qld/consol_act/pagba1982191/

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