Last updated 29 August 2016
In addition to any other sentence, a court may order an offender to pay restitution or compensation for property loss or destruction connected with the commission of the offence (s 35 Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 (Qld) (Penalties and Sentences Act)). If the offence caused any injury to any person (not just the actual victim of the offence), compensation may also be ordered.
A community-based order may contain a specific requirement that restitution or compensation is to be made. Failure to comply with this requirement will amount to a breach of that order.
In making an order for compensation or restitution, a court has the discretion to record a conviction. The court may also order that if the person fails to pay the compensation or fails to make restitution in accordance with the order, the person must be sentenced to a period of imprisonment, which cannot exceed one year if a person is convicted on indictment or six months if an offender is convicted in a Magistrates Court (ss 34–36 Penalties and Sentences Act).
Failure to comply with a restitution or compensation order can result in the offender being arrested and taken into custody. The offender may again be dealt with for the original offence. Alternatively, the court has an ability to extend the time within which the payment is to be made (ss 38–40 Penalties and Sentences Act).
Restoration of property
The District Court and the Supreme Court can order the restoration of property to its owner or a person who is legally entitled to its possession where a convicted offender has unlawfully obtained the property.
The owner or the person entitled to possession of the property can apply for a restoration order. Either court can also order the return of any personal property that appears to have been directly or indirectly obtained as a result of the offence (s 194 Penalties and Sentences Act).
An offender convicted in a Magistrates Court of an offence relating to property may be released with no sentence imposed if the offender pays damages (which may include that person’s legal costs) to the person who is entitled to the property (s 190 Penalties and Sentences Act).
Compensation for personal injuries
For a full discussion of compensation for crime see the chapter on Assisting Victims of Crime.