If you break the law in another state, authorities may issue a warrant for your arrest or may need you to return to the state where the offence was committed.
If you're arrested you may be able to apply for bail, but if granted bail you may have to make your own travel arrangements to attend court where the warrant was issued. If you don't apply for bail or are refused bail, you may be remanded in custody and transported to the courthouse.
You should get legal advice if you're arrested in Queensland for an offence committed in another state or if you've committed an offence in another state and have come to Queensland.
Can I be arrested in one state if I break the law in another state?
Yes. If you break the law in one state and then go interstate before you go to court, a warrant for your arrest may issue and this can be enforced in another state. For example, if you break the law in New South Wales and then come to Queensland, a warrant for your arrest may be prepared in NSW but you may be arrested in Queensland. Remember that a warrant stays in force until you are arrested, even if it has been issued in another state.
Can I be made to go to court in Queensland if I break the law in another state?
Yes. If you are arrested in Queensland you will be taken before a Queensland court. When you go before the court in Queensland, the magistrate can do a number of things, but usually the magistrate must make an order for you to return to the state where the warrant was prepared as soon as possible. You may be able to apply for bail and make your own travel arrangements to attend the interstate court, or you may be remanded in custody and transported to the interstate court. This process, where you are sent by a magistrate in a court in one state to a court in another state for the interstate court to decide what will happen is called extradition.
Can I be made to go to court in Queensland if I have absconded from another state while on a court order?
Yes. If you have been sentenced in another state and then abscond to Queensland before completing that sentence, then you can be arrested on the warrant in Queensland and taken before the Court. The Magistrate may make an order that you return to the custody of the state that is seeking your extradition. The Magistrate cannot grant bail in this matter.
Do I need legal advice?
You should talk to a lawyer for legal advice as soon as possible if you:
- have been arrested in Queensland for something you have done in another state
- have done something in another state and you have come to Queensland and you're worried you may be arrested
- have done something in Queensland and gone interstate.
Get legal advice
We may advice about extradition.
The following services may also be able to provide you with legal advice and help.
Community legal centres—many Community Legal Centres give free legal advice and information on criminal law. Contact them to find out if they can help with your matter.
Queensland Law Society can refer you to a specialist private solicitor for advice or representation on criminal law matters.
Who else can help?
These organisations may also be able to help. They don't give legal advice.
Queensland courts provide information for people going to court (defendants and witnesses) and general information about the different types of courts in Queensland, eg Magistrates, District, Supreme, Mental Health Court, Childrens court, Coroners court, and more.
Disclaimer: This content is for general purposes only and not legal advice. If you have a legal problem, please contact us or speak to a lawyer. View our full disclaimer.
Last updated 13 April 2023
If you have a general question for Legal Aid Queensland, please use the general question form or call 1300 65 11 88, Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 4.30pm.