Clarity Law

Specialist Criminal Law Firm Queensland
Monday, 20 February 2023 16:27

Contravene direction or requirement

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The charge of Contravene direction or requirement is a common charge defendants can find themselves falling afoul of. The scope of the offence is broad, however generally would fall into two categories:

  1. Failing to comply with a “move on” (or other like) order from a Police Officer; and
  2. Failing to comply with a direction regarding a public official, such as not giving your name, address and date of birth to a public official. Note, it is a separate offence to obstruct or impede a Police officer in the conduct of their duties.


The offence

The offence, generally speaking is less serious than a similar offence of obstruct/assault Police.  It is also critical to note that this offence does not cover a circumstance where a person fails to provide a specimen of breath for a roadside or BAS reading, as that is a separate and often serious offence.

For a person to be charged with the offence, the following must have occurred:

  • A Police Officer has given a reasonable direction or requirement in the following circumstances:
    • Required a person to give their name, address and date of birth to a public official; or
    • Obstructed a public official in the exercise of that official’s duties; or
    • Ceasing to comply with reasonable direction (a “move on” order) in circumstances where a person’s conduct is:
      • causing anxiety to a person entering, at or leaving the place, reasonably arising in all the circumstances;
      • interfering with trade or business at the place by unnecessarily obstructing, hindering or impeding someone entering, at or leaving the place;
      • disorderly, indecent, offensive, or threatening to someone entering, at or leaving the place;
      • disrupting the peaceable and orderly conduct of any event, entertainment or gathering at the place; and
    • A person or persons have, without a reasonable excuse contravened the requirement or direction.

For the charge to succeed, the Police Officer must give a warning that by failing to comply with the direction or requirement, the person is committing an offence.

NOTE, the offence becomes more serious (aggravated) if the offence occurs in (or in close proximity to) a licenced premises, or a public place that is designated as a safe night precinct (i.e Surfers Paradise, The Strand or Fortitude Valley).



In some cases, it is a defence to have a reasonable excuse for not complying with the direction. Reasonable excuse, does not have a hard and fast definition – but is more in the manner of interpretation. In essence, would an ordinary person consider that the excuse to not comply was reasonable?

It is further accepted that, unless it is specifically provided by law, it is a reasonable excuse to not comply with a direction or requirement, if doing so would tend to incriminate the person. Some specific exceptions to this rule relate to authorisation and conduct of forensic procedures, such as DNA collection. 



In most circumstances, the offence is a fine only offence (some exceptions apply depending on the specific nature of the contravention), however this does not mean that it is something that should be taken lightly. A conviction for the offence may have a significant impact on a person, especially in circumstances where other criminal matters are present.

The maximum fine penalty will depend on whether or not the previously noted aggravating features are present.

If a person commits the offence in a prescribed place, the maximum fine is 60 penalty units (at time of writing is $8,675.00) plus the Court offender levy, which if heard in the Magistrates Court is currently $133.60.

Otherwise, a maximum fine of 40 penalty units ($5,750.00) plus any relevant offender levy.


Can Clarity Law help me?

It is understandable that for a person who is a first-time offender, they may wonder why they should engage a lawyer to act for them when they face a single contravene direction or requirement offence. 

Our dedicated team has experience handling these matters. Your Clarity Law solicitor will carefully review and consider your case and may be able to engage with prosecutors to negotiate depending on the facts. Engaging an experienced lawyer (such as us) will allow you to explore your options with respect of the offence, assist in reducing the fineable amount and improving the likelihood of no conviction being recorded.

We also have fixed prices so you know with certianty what you will pay.  Our prices can be found here.



This article, is by no means a complete guide to this type of offence, but should be a useful starting point for someone who has been charged but not yet been to court. If you are charged with an offence, please contact our office for a free initial consultation.


How do I get more information or engage Clarity Law to act for me? 

If you want to engage us or just need further information or advice then you can either;

  1. Use our contact form and we will contact you by email or phone at a time that suits you
  2. Book a time for us to call you
  3. Call us on 1300 952 255 seven days a week, 7am to 7pm
  4. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Read 313 times Last modified on Tuesday, 21 February 2023 16:46
Jack Marshall

Jack is a former soldier and now a criminal defence lawyer with Clarity Law. He helps clients navigate the court process and get the best results.