Offender Levy

The Queensland Government has introduced an “offender levy” which applies to any offender (other than a child) who is sentenced in a Queensland court on or after 21 August 2012. According to the media statement, the purpose of the offender levy is to help reduce the costs of administering the criminal justice system and also to help pay for the costs of law enforcement.

Currently (as of 21 August 2012), the offender levy is $100 for Magistrates court matters and $200 for District and Supreme court matters.

The offender levy is only payable for each sentencing occasion, rather than for each offence a person is sentenced for. For example, if a person was sentenced after pleading guilty to five charges of fraud, only one levy is payable. If, however, a person pleaded guilty to five charges of fraud on different days, then there would be five levies payable.

It is important to understand that this levy is not imposed by a judge or magistrate as part of their sentencing. Therefore you will not hear the judge or magistrate tell you that you need to pay this levy. You also cannot appeal the requirement to pay the offender levy.

Payment of the offender levy can be made on the same day that you are sentencing, or else it can be paid through the State Penalties Enforcement Register (SPER).

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