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Rape in Queensland

Updated on Jan 05, 2023 3 min read 385 views Copy Link

Fernanda Dahlstrom

Published in Jan 05, 2023 Updated on Jan 05, 2023 3 min read 385 views

Rape in Queensland

The most serious sexual offence in Queensland is rape. Rape is contained in section 349 of the Criminal Code Act 1899. This page outlines the laws surrounding rape and attempted rape in Queensland.

What is rape in Queensland?

In Queensland, rape is defined as including:

  • Having carnal knowledge of a person without their consent; or
  • Penetrating the vulva, vagina or anus of another person with a thing or part of the body without consent;
  • Penetrating another person’s mouth with a penis without the other person’s consent.

What is consent?

In Queensland, consent is defined as free and voluntary agreement by a person with cognitive capacity.

A person does not validly consent to sex if their consent is obtained through:

  • Force;
  • Threats;
  • Fear of bodily harm;
  • Exercise of authority;
  • False representation about the nature of the act;
  • A mistaken belief induced by the accused that they were the person’s sexual partner.

The offence of rape in Queensland

The offence of rape is set out in section 349 of the Criminal Code 1899. It carries a maximum penalty of imprisonment for life.

Attempted rape in Queensland

The offence of attempted rape is set out in section 350 of the Criminal Code 1899. It carries a maximum penalty of imprisonment for 14 years.

Assault with intent to rape in Queensland

The offence of assault with intent to rape is set out in section 351 of the Criminal Code 1899. It carries a penalty of up to 14 years imprisonment.

Aggravated offences

Any of the above offences are aggravated if they are committed at the direction of a criminal organization (Penalties and Sentences Act 1992, section 161Q).

Should I plead guilty or not guilty?

If you have been charged with a rape offence in Queensland, you should get thorough legal advice before deciding how to proceed.

Your Go To Court criminal lawyer will talk to you about:

  • The strength of the case against you;
  • The likely penalty range if you are found guilty;
  • The criminal process and how long it will take to finalise the matter;
  • Your bail prospects, if you have been remanded;
  • Whether you have a defence.

Jurisdiction

Rape offences are strictly indictable offences and are dealt with in the District Court. However, rape matters begin in the Magistrates Court and go through a number of procedural stages in front of a magistrate before being transferred to the District Court for a plea hearing or a trial.

Defences to rape offences in Qld

There is only one legal defence to a rape charge. This is that the victim consented to sex with the accused. This defence can only be relied on if the alleged victim is aged over 12.

A person charged with a rape offence may also rely on a factual defence such as:

  • The alleged offence did not occur
  • The accused was not the person who committed the alleged offence

Applying for bail if you have been charged with rape

If you have been charged with rape in Queensland and remanded in custody, you may want to apply for bail. Go To Court Lawyers can advise you on your prospects of being granted bail and prepare your bail application.

Bail applications in Queensland are governed by the Bail Act 1980. Bail will be refused if the court considers there is an unacceptable risk that you will fail to come to court to answer the charge or that you will commit an offence while on bail.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Go To Court Lawyers.

Published in

Jan 05, 2023

Fernanda Dahlstrom

Content Editor

Fernanda Dahlstrom has a Bachelor of Laws from Latrobe University, a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the College of Law, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne and a Master of Arts (Writing and Literature) from Deakin University. Fernanda practised law for eight years, working in criminal defence, child protection and domestic violence law in the Northern Territory. She also practised in family law after moving to Brisbane in 2016.
Fernanda Dahlstrom

Fernanda Dahlstrom

Content Editor

Fernanda Dahlstrom has a Bachelor of Laws from Latrobe University, a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the College of Law, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne and a Master of Arts (Writing and Literature) from Deakin University. Fernanda practised law for eight years, working in criminal defence, child protection and domestic violence law in the Northern Territory. She also practised in family law after moving to Brisbane in 2016.

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