Prior to 24 September 2018, a court could sentence an offender convicted of a crime to a CSO under Section 8 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999. Section 8 was then amended and the courts power to impose a CSO was replaced with the power to make a community correction order (CCO).
This means existing CSO’s have been converted into CCO’s. If you are convicted of an offence and sentenced to a CCO, this will appear on your criminal record.
Section 8 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act gives a sentencing court the power to make a CCO instead of imposing a sentence of imprisonment on a convicted person.
Community Correction Orders
Part 7 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act provides for sentencing procedures for community correction orders. Under this Part, an offender sentenced to a CCO must:
Not commit any offence
Appear before the court if called on to do so at any time during the term of the community correction order
Under s 89 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act the court may impose additional conditions on a community correction order. The additional conditions of a CCO which may be imposed are:
A curfew condition imposing a specified curfew (not exceeding 12 hours in any 24 hour period)
A community service work condition requiring the performance of community service work for a specified number of hours (not exceeding 500 hours or the number of hours prescribed by the regulations in respect of the class of offences to which the relevant offence belongs)
A rehabilitation or treatment condition requiring abstention from alcohol or drugs or both
A non-association condition prohibiting association with particular persons
A place restriction condition prohibiting the frequenting of or visits to a particular place or area
A supervision condition requiring the offender to submit to supervision -by a community corrections officer or – if the offender was under the age of 18 years when the condition was imposed, by a juvenile justice officer until the offender has reached that age
In other words, a court may impose a condition as part of a CCO that you must:
Not leave your residence during certain hours
Perform community service work
Undertake rehabilitation treatment or not consume any drugs or alcohol
Not associate with a particular person or people
Not go to certain places, such as a persons house or a particular business
Be supervised by a community corrections officer
A court cannot however impose any of the following additional conditions as part of a CCO:
A home detention condition
An electronic monitoring condition
A curfew condition imposing a curfew exceeding 12 hours in any period of 24 hours
Further, if the offender is not present during sentencing, the Local Court cannot impose a CCO. A court cannot impose a CCO for a period of more than 3 years.
If the court suspects that an offender may have failed to comply with any conditions of a CCO, the court may:
Issue a warrant for the offender’s arrest, or
Authorize an authorized officer to issue a warrant for the offender’s arrest
If you are being sentenced for an offence, it is essential to seek advice from an experienced criminal defence lawyer.
If a court finds that you have breached a CCO, it may revoke the CCO and re-sentence you for the original offence. Courts consider the breach of a CCO to be extremely serious and a person who is found to have breached a CCO may be sent to prison.
For more information on sentencing, community corrections orders or to speak with a criminal defence lawyer, call George Sten & Co Criminal Lawyers. We are available 24 hours a day and can be contacted on (02) 9261 8640 or 0412 423 569.