Victorian Courts

Introduction: Understanding the Offence

In the legal landscape of Victoria, section 89AD of the Sentencing Act 1991 highlights the Breach of Community Correction Order, a transgression that occurs when an individual neglects to comply with the conditions of their active Community Correction Order. If you have breached your Corrections Order you should contact us straight away.

Facing Accusations: Pleading Not Guilty

Should you receive a summons for violating a Corrections Order, you possess the right to challenge the accusation, especially if you disagree with it. Corrections commonly pursue these charges due to non-compliance with order conditions, such as skipping supervision or unpaid community work, or due to subsequent criminal activity. Considering possible strategies, one can subpoena the Correction worker’s file notes to identify inconsistencies with one’s personal records of appointments. Additionally, valid reasons for not attending community work, like injury or illness, could serve as a defence. Should you find yourself charged with a Breach of Corrections Order, our expert defence lawyers stand ready to provide comprehensive legal counsel.

Pleading Guilty: Minimising Potential Consequences

The severity of breaches and past performance on Correction Orders can potentially lead to imprisonment for further breaches. Engaging with our experienced defence lawyers becomes imperative to receive guidance on effective pre-court actions that could prevent a custodial sentence. Our lawyers possess the skills to present persuasive submissions in court and offer realistic advice regarding potential penalties. Navigating Sentencing Outcomes Breach of Community Correction Order cases are typically heard in the same court that issued the initial Order.

Illustrative Instances of Breach

  1. Failure to attend mandated counselling.
  2. Theft committed by an individual under a Community Correction Order.
  3. Consistent non-compliance with supervisor meetings during a Community Correction Order.

Case Illustration: A Second Breach’s Repercussions

Our client had previously breached a Community Correction Order and was forewarned that another breach could lead to imprisonment. Despite the warning, the client failed to adhere to any order conditions, including supervision, drug testing, counselling, and behavior programs. Our lawyer argued that imprisonment would hinder the client’s life progress, leading the Magistrate to avoid imposing a jail term.

Defining Breach of Community Correction Order

The legal definition denotes failing to adhere to any terms of a legally imposed Community Correction Order.

Elements of the Offence

To establish guilt, the prosecution must prove the accused was subject to a Community Corrections Order, contravened the order, and lacked a reasonable excuse for doing so.

Element 1: Being Subject to a Community Correction Order

The prosecution must confirm that the accused was subject to a Community Corrections Order (CCO). Such orders offer an alternative sentencing option, allowing courts to direct offenders to complete a CCO after being found guilty of offences punishable by over 5 penalty units. CCOs are designed to provide a community-based sentence for various offences. They contain standard conditions, including avoiding further imprisonable offences and reporting. Tailored conditions might include mandatory rehabilitation or unpaid community work.

Element 2: Contravention of the Order

The prosecution must establish that the accused breached the order. Breaching CCO conditions, such as failing to fulfill required community work or committing new imprisonable offences, constitutes contravention.

Element 3: Lack of a Reasonable Excuse

The final element necessitates proving that the accused lacked a reasonable excuse for their contravention. A valid excuse could involve a medical condition arising during the order that prevents compliance. The accused should provide evidence to the Corrections worker to substantiate such claims.

Defences and Questions

Defences include honest belief in non-breach, sudden emergencies, or mistaken identity. Individual circumstances shape potential defences.

Exploring Penalties

The maximum penalty for Breach of Community Correction Order (section 83AD of the Sentencing Act 1991) is 3 months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to 30 penalty units. In conclusion, the Breach of Community Correction Order offence demands careful legal navigation. From understanding elements of the offence to exploring possible defences, a comprehensive approach is pivotal in ensuring a fair legal outcome.  
Community Based Orders / Community Corrections orders v Imprisonment 2004 - 2021.

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