In this section
START OF Criminal justice
START OF Offences
END OF Offences
END OF Criminal justice
A public place is anywhere that is open to, or used by, the public (either for free or for a fee)—for example, a street a shop, railway or bus station or in some parking areas.
There are laws about what you can and can’t do and how to behave in a public place so that members of the public can use and move through public places peacefully.
If you’re charged with an offence, you should get legal advice.
You’re breaking the law if you:
The police can give you an on-the-spot fine for public nuisance offences. There’s no conviction recorded for an on-the-spot fine, but the police will keep a record of it having been issued that could later be used in court.
Alternatively, police can arrest and charge you with a public nusiance offence and you must go to Court. If you're charged with one of these offences, you should get legal advice.
There can be more serious penalties for committing some of these types of offences in or near a licensed premise.
A police officer may tell you to leave a public place or a regulated place and not return within a reasonable time (no more than 24 hours) if they reasonably suspect that:
The police officer must tell you why you are being told to leave.
If a police officer asks you to leave—you should do so. If you don't comply you may be breaking the law by contravening a direction or requirement of police.
There are laws covering prostitutes and other sex workers and their clients. Prostitution in licensed brothels is legal in Queensland, but street prostitution is illegal.
Without a licence, permit or authority it’s against the law to:
You may need legal advice if you’ve been:
We may give legal advice about breaking the law in a public place. We can’t provide a lawyer to attend a police interview with you.
The following organisations may be able to give legal advice.
Community legal centres may give free preliminary legal advice and information on some criminal law matters. Most of them don’t provide legal representation. 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 and representation.
Important: If you’re charged with an offence, you should ask police prosecutions for a copy of your Queensland Police form 9 (QP9) — this is a written summary of the police version of why you were charged and what happened. You should get your QP9 before getting legal advice. You can get your QP9 from the police prosecutor on your first court date (the duty lawyer may be able to help you). If you can’t collect it on your first court date you’ll need to apply to police prosecutions for a copy. You’ll need to make a written request and show photo ID.
These organisations may also be able to help. They don’t give legal advice.
The Department of Justice and Attorney-General gives information about going to court to help defendants and witnesses.
Queensland Courts provides information about the: