What the law says
Sections 17 of the Summary Offences Act Queensland states:
- A person must not possess a graffiti instrument that-
- (a) is reasonably suspected of having been used for graffiti; or
- (b) is being used for graffiti; or
- (c) is reasonably suspected of being about to be used for graffiti.
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.
- The accused is in possession of a graffiti instrument reasonably expected of having been used for graffiti; or
- The accused is in possession of a graffiti instrument being used for graffiti; or
- The accused is in possession of a graffiti instrument suspected of being about to be used for graffiti.
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.
The Maximum penalty for the offence of Graffiti Instrument is 20 penalty units or 1 year's imprisonment.
The court may whether it imposes any other penalty for the offence, order the offender-
- (a) to perform community service under the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992, part 5, division 2 including, for example, removing graffiti from property; or
- (b) to pay compensation to any person under the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992, part 3, division 4.
Which court will hear the matter
This matter is a simple offence which means it is dealt with in the Magistrates Court.
Possible defences to this offence include but are not limited to
- The accused was not in possession of the graffiti instrument
- The graffiti instrument in the person's possession was not connected to any involvement by the person in the preparation of the offence or in any criminal responsibility in relation to the offence.
Criminal Law Article written by Bill Potts (a Queensland criminal defence lawyer who is experienced in Graffiti Instrument matters)