Appearing in Court vs. Going Online: What Is Acceptable in Queensland Law?

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Judge gavel and scaleMany people have wondered whether they really must appear in court when they have received a notice or summons to do so. A Southport criminal lawyer affirms that, indeed, for most offences, you must go to court on the date listed on the notice. Otherwise, failure to appear in court may result in a warrant for your arrest.

In Queensland, a letter or email to the court is not a substitute for your physical appearance. Some instances, however, may allow you to sort out the legal work online.

Some Offences Do Not Require Public Appearance in Court

Regardless of having a lawyer, you must appear before the court if you received a notice requiring you to do so. Certain minor offences allow you to plead guilty online, though. Examples of such offences include public nuisance, contravening police directions, driving an uninsured or unregistered vehicle, disobeying the speed limit and participating in the unauthorised dealing with shop goods of up to 150 dollars.

For these minor offences, you may simply access the Queensland government website and fill out a form there. Make sure, however, that you send it at least two days before your scheduled appearance in court. As accessible as the internet is, legal processes still follow a strict schedule.

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You May Plead Guilty Online If You Have No Argument

Queensland law states that you are innocent until proven guilty. Nevertheless, you may go ahead and plead guilty if you have no argument with the charge. If you plead guilty online for a minor offence, you may not have to appear in court. Of course, specific guidelines dictate whether you can do so.

You may plead guilty online if you received a complaint and a notice to appear in court as well as if you need to appear in a Queensland Magistrates Court because of a minor offence. You may not plead guilty online for indictable offences, those that are triable on indictment.

Some offences may not require your appearance before the court. No matter how minor they seem, however, you should always ask for legal advice. Legal professionals help you determine whether it is a good idea to enter a plea of guilty. They will help you determine the most suitable course of action.