For legal aid to be granted for a pre-sentence report the following tests must be satisfied:
- The report directly relates to the proposed plea and it is likely to result in a significant reduction in the sentence that might otherwise be expected, and
- The material cannot be presented to the court without obtaining the report, and
- the applicant has been provided aid for the substantive matter, and
- the applicant meets the merits test.
If the report writer refuses to accept the scale of fees to prepare the report or appear as a witness, the request will be referred to a Grants Manager for consideration.
Requests for an interstate report writer are determined by the Assistant Director Grants.
Extension of aid requests received from preferred suppliers or In-house Practitioners
Practitioners seeking a grant of legal assistance should electronically submit an extension for aid request via the Grants Online System along with the appropriate information request or checklist.
Aid may be available for a pre-sentence report where the charges are serious and the report is likely to support the mitigation which will result in a significant reduction in sentence.
If funding is requested for a pre-sentence report in the Magistrates Court, Legal Aid Queensland will consider whether the practitioner is the most appropriate person to obtain the report as Magistrates can order that Corrective Services obtain a pre-sentence report if the Magistrate considers that a pre-sentence report is required for sentencing.
If funding is requested for a pre-sentence the practitioner is required to certify that:
- The clients personal history discloses gross abuse/trauma that may have contributed to their psychological behaviour and provide understanding and reasoning behind their criminal behaviour, or
- Client has revealed details of past and/or present drug or substance abuse that may have caused or contributed to psychological damage or the existence of a psychological condition, and
- The report will have significant impact on sentence, and
- Failure to obtain a report would be a possible ground of appeal.
Grant(s) of aid
The grant of aid for a social worker to prepare a Pre-Sentence Report is SW1.
The grant of aid for a psychologist to prepare a Pre-Sentence Report is PY1.