The recent changes in the anti-gang laws have many innocent motorcyclists and motorcycle enthusiasts in Queensland worried that they might be inadvertently targeted. Here are some tips to staying on the right side of the law.
Know your friends' and family members' records
One of the offences is to limit people 'consorting', which is when three people or more people from a known organisation gather in a public place. This can be an issue for some families with convictions, so it's important to know which offences friends and family may have on their record. It doesn't mean that you can't see these loved ones, but you might need to balance the visits so that you don't see certain combinations of friends and family together.
Don't wear club colours in licensed venues
One of the offences involved wearing club colours in licensed venue. Some motorcyclists find this quite hard, as their normal protective gear such as motorcycle helmets and jackets are emblazoned with the club emblems. It can be a good idea to have a cheap jacket with you to throw on as you enter any licensed venues such as pubs. You can still wear your colours on the road, but have a cheaper jacket you use in the pub for dinner.
Choose reasonable activities
If you frequent a venue that is known as a bikie or gang clubhouse, you may be subject to more vigorous scrutiny from the local law enforcement. You can try switching up your activities by meeting in private houses or other non-aligned venues such as community centres. This can leave you on the right side of the law.
Comply with search requests if reasonable
Under these laws, police to have a stop and search right if you are wearing your club colours in public. However this must be done in a reasonable way, so if you feel in danger of your safety, you can request that the search be carried out in another venue. It is advisable to remain calm and polite throughout to stop police escalating their behaviour as well.
If you do get picked up and charged under anti-bikie laws it is very important to get rapid advice from an experienced criminal law attorney. People who are subject to these laws can be held without bail and may be subject to much tougher sentencing. This means it is extremely important to get rapid legal advice if you do find yourself being held in custody or questioned.