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Begging In A Public Place

What the law says

Sections 7 of the Summary Offences Act Queensland states:

  1. A person must not -
    • (a) beg for money or goods in a public place
    • (b) cause, procure or encourage a child to beg for money or goods in a public place; or
    • (c) solicit donations of money or goods in a public place.

What the police must prove

In order for the Police to prove their case at Court, they must prove each of the following matters beyond a reasonable doubt.

  1. The accused
    • (a) Begged for money or goods in a public place; or
    • (b) Caused, procured or encouraged a child to beg for money or goods in a public place; or
    • (c) Solicited donations of money or goods in a public place.

It will be necessary for the Police in every offence to prove that the accused was the person who committed the offence. Click here to learn more about identification evidence.

Maximum penalty

The Maximum penalty for the offence of Begging in a Public Place is 10 penalty units or 6 months imprisonment.

Which court will hear the matter

This matter is simple offence which means it is dealt with in the Magistrates Court.

Possible defences

Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to

  1. Identification i.e. not the accused.
  2. The behaviour was not in a public place.
  3. The accused was an individual authorised by a charity registered under the Collections Act 1966 to solicit donations for charity.
  4. The accused was authorised by the local government to busk in a public place.
  5. The accused enable or facilitate a child to beg for money or goods.

Criminal Law Article written by Bill Potts (a Queensland criminal defence lawyer who is experienced in Begging in a Public Place matters)

 

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