What is a QP9, and why does it matter?
For those who aren’t familiar with the logistics and legal jargon of court-related matters, you may not have heard of a QP9 or even know what it is. It is important that you have an understanding of what is contained in the QP9 when heading to court. In this post, we’ll explain what a QP9 is and why it matters.
What is a QP9?
When someone is accused of a crime, the Police Prosecutions unit creates a Queensland Police Form 9 or police court brief (QP9). In addition to listing the charge and a brief summary of the allegations made by the police against you, the QP9 also includes details of your criminal and traffic history, if any. A copy of this document will be given to you before your matter is heard in court.
Why does it matter?
Before entering a plea in court, it is crucial to carefully review the QP9. Agreeing to it without reading it properly may see you be charged with additional offences that you didn’t commit or the circumstances surrounding your charge may be noted incorrectly and you may receive a harsher penalty due to this.
It is essential that you are aware of what is contained in the QP9 before your court hearing. This enables you to carefully review the document to ensure that any inconsistencies are investigated.
The police will read the QP9 summary in court. The Magistrate will then hear from your lawyer or you if you are acting on your own behalf. If there are errors in the QP9 form, it might be feasible to ask the prosecution to re-evaluate the charge or change what appears in the QP9, if there are major aspects of the QP9 that you disagree with. A traffic lawyer can provide you with advice on this and what is the best course of action given your particular circumstances.
If your matter is serious, you may be able to ask for a comprehensive brief of evidence. Similar to a QP9, but far more thorough, this document will contain all witness testimonies, CCTV footage, or audio recordings if any. Any video from police body cameras or vehicles can also be requested, where appropriate.
It goes without saying that hiring an experienced traffic lawyer to represent you guarantees that all options are considered, and all bases are covered, ensuring you achieve the most desirable result possible.
How do I obtain a copy of my QP9?
At your initial court appearance, the QP9 document will be available for you to view. If you have hired a lawyer to represent you, they will normally get a copy of this for you on your behalf and review it before you have to attend court. This enables your lawyer to discuss your charges and what has been outlined in the QP9 before attending court. If there are any discrepancies in the QP9, your lawyer will negotiate with the prosecution to amend any errors.
Your lawyer can collaborate with the prosecution to get a copy of the QP9 paperwork for you if you attended court without legal representation and were unaware that you needed to do so.
The information in my QP9 is not correct, now what?
Police create the QP9, which summarises their case against you based on the alleged evidence they have at the time it is created. This can include things such as witness evidence, the police officers perceived understanding of the incident, and details outlining conversations that were had with you regarding the event. You may agree to all that is outlined in the QP9, some of the information or none.
If you disagree with the accusations made in the QP9 document, it is a good idea to seek legal advice as a matter of urgency. An experienced traffic lawyer can help you by seeking additional information or submitting arguments to show that the alleged facts are false. Additionally, we can negotiate with the prosecution to have the alleged statements changed.
At your initial court appearance, you may ask for an adjournment if you don’t have a legal representative and the accusations made in the QP9 document are incorrect.
You should know that the QP9 will still be included in the police’s database. This is regarded as an official record and if you need to subsequently reveal information pertaining to your charge or if you have to attend court at a later date, this can be used against you.
Why you should consider hiring a lawyer if QP9 details are incorrect
A lawyer works for you and in your best interest, hiring one is highly beneficial for matters such as these for the following reasons:
They can save you time and money
Rather than having to attend multiple court hearings, your lawyer can have it completed in the one visit in many instances. This can save you from having to have time off work to go to court multiple times and those with legal representation are seen before those representing themselves. This not only saves you time but money too.
They can dispute claims made in the QP9 for you
As mentioned above, a lawyer can dispute any discrepancies in your QP9 document required and can typically attain a copy before your court date.
A lawyer can speak on your behalf
Going to court can be a daunting experience for anyone and when you hire a lawyer to represent you, they can help to take some of the stress out of the situation by guiding you throughout the whole process as well as speaking on your behalf so that you don’t have to.
A lawyer can help you achieve a less harsh penalty
An experienced traffic lawyer knows everything there is to know about traffic law and they can use their expertise to help you receive a less harsh penalty, allowing you to get on with your life with the least impact possible.
Speak to the expert traffic law team at Drink Driver Lawyer
The team at Drink Driver Lawyer have the necessary skills and industry knowledge to help you achieve the best outcome possible given your traffic charge. Feel free to reach out to us today for an obligation-free consultation if you have any questions.