Plead guilty online
If you’re charged with an offence in Queensland, you’re considered innocent until found guilty. If you intend to plead guilty and you meet the criteria below, you may avoid the need to come to court.
You need to provide details of the alleged offence and your court appearance, both located on your complaint and summons or notice to appear.
Who can plead guilty online
You can plead guilty online if both of these apply:
- you've received a complaint and summons or notice to appear from a police officer in Queensland
- you're required to appear in a Queensland Magistrates Court in relation to a minor offence, such as committing a public nuisance, speeding, or driving uninsured, on an expired licence, unregistered, etc.
Online guilty pleas are not accepted for the more serious offences that are to proceed upon indictment (i.e. if it's a more serious offence, such, serious drug offences, armed robbery, break and enter, fraud, wilful damage and assault, etc.).
You should seek legal advice to help you make your decision.
Driver licence disqualification
If a conviction could result in your driver licence being disqualified, your guilty plea won’t be accepted.
There are several driving-related charges, such as drink driving, driving without a licence and driving while already disqualified, that will result in a driver’s licence disqualification.
If you’re not sure whether your driver’s licence will be disqualified and you need your licence for your employment or another reason, you should seek legal advice.
Deadline for pleading guilty online
You must submit your online guilty plea at least 2 business days before your court date.
If you submit it later than this, we can’t guarantee it will be processed in time.
If you are close to this deadline, contact the relevant registry to make sure we have received it and whether you still need to go to court.
What will happen in court
Your guilty plea will be read out to the court. Depending on the circumstances of the offence and the information the prosecutor provides, the magistrate may either deal with the charge in your absence or require you to come to court and adjourn the matter to another date.
What happens next
If the magistrate adjourns the matter, the court will inform you of the new court date and where you’re required to attend. This includes being notified by either email or mail.
If you do have to go to court, there may be consequences if you fail to appear. For example, the magistrate may issue a warrant for your arrest.
If the magistrate accepts your guilty plea, the State Penalties Enforcement Registry (SPER) will send you two letters, to tell you of the fine you have to pay and the offender levy you owe.
It may take up to seven days after the court date for SPER to send these letters to you.
If you’re given a sentence in the Magistrates Court—whether or not a conviction is recorded and whether or not you’re there in person on the day—you are liable for payment of the offender levy.
The offender levy isn’t part of the court’s sentence; it’s a separate levy applied by the Queensland Government.