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Sydney NSW 2000
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Melbourne VIC 3000
231 North Quay
Brisbane QLD 4000
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Canberra ACT 2601
111 St Georges Terrace
Perth WA 6000
Section 754 of the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 makes it a very serious offence to fail to stop a motor vehicle when required to do so by a Police officer, and says:
Maximum penalty: 200 penalty units or 3 years imprisonment.”
An offence against s754 is punished particularly harshly, attracting at least a mandatory fine of $5890 (at the time of this writing) or otherwise a sentence of 50 days imprisonment, all of which must be served inside a jail (or double that if you are a participant in a criminal organisation).
In addition to this mandatory minimum penalty, a mandatory disqualification period of 2 years must be applied to any Queensland driver licence held by a person who is guilty of the offence.
The stiff penalties which apply to this offence mean that if you or a family member has been charged with failing to stop a motor vehicle for Police you must seek out competent legal advice and likely representation, at an early stage.
In order to convict you of an offence of failing to stop, the Police must establish that:
Key to any prosecution for an offence against s754 is proof that a direction was actually given (i.e. there was some overt indication from a clearly identifiable Police vehicle to stop) and that the person to whom the direction was given did not stop as soon as reasonably practicable. This means that even if you do ultimately stop your vehicle, you might still be charged if the Police form the view that you did not stop as soon as was reasonably practicable. Simply being charged does not, inevitably, mean that you are guilty of the offence however.
You might not be guilty of an offence of failing to stop if the direction given by the Police was not clearly given, for example if a plain clothes officer in an un-marked vehicle gives an equivocal hand motion or, as was the case in Williams v the Commissioner of Police, where the Police vehicle giving the direction to stop is so far away that a reasonable person would not necessarily understand that the direction was being given to them in particular.
Charges of failing to stop a motor vehicle for Police will be heard and determined in a Magistrates Court.
Traffic offences are treated seriously in Queensland. If you have been in an accident, received a licence suspension or received a charge and summons to attend court, it is important to obtain competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly experienced and understand the difficulties you face without a licence. We can guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.
Contact Armstrong Legal:
Brisbane: (07) 3229 4448
Sydney: (02) 9261 4555
Melbourne: (03) 9620 2777
Canberra: (02) 6288 1100
Perth: (08) 9321 5505