Perth Sentencing, WA

There are a range of sentencing options that a Court may order when you are convicted of an offence, so make sure that you have an experienced lawyer on your team who can get you the outcome that you are satisfied with.

Sentencing

Sentencing encompasses various forms of punishment and rehabilitation, depending on the nature and severity of the offence committed. Offenders may receive a probation sentence, allowing them to serve their sentence in the community under supervision, with specific conditions to adhere to. Alternatively, a sentence handed down by the court may involve fines, community-based orders, suspended imprisonment orders, or immediate imprisonment. Furthermore, parole plays a significant role for those serving sentences of imprisonment, providing eligible offenders with the opportunity for early release into the community under supervision, subject to meeting certain criteria and adhering to parole conditions.

Our specialist criminal lawyers can be with you throughout the sentencing process.

When sentencing, the nature and severity of the offence committed, the offender’s criminal history, personal circumstances, and the offence’s impact on victims and the community must be considered. The diverse range of sentencing options available to the courts include:

Reduction for Plea of Guilty – s 9AA

If an offender pleads guilty to an offence, instead of contesting a matter at hearing or trial, the Court may reduce the sentence to recognise the benefits to the Court, prosecution and any witnesses/victims.

The earlier the plea, the greater the reduction. If the guilty plea was indicated or entered at the first reasonable opportunity, the fixed term may be reduced by 25%. The head term may not be reduced by more than 25% for a guilty plea although it can still be reduced based on other mitigating factors.

No sentence

A “No Sentence Order” is only made by courts where no penalty is considered necessary. In practice, it is very rare for courts to impose no sentence.

Conditional Release Order (CRO)

A CRO is similar to a Good Behaviour Bond. This order requires the offender to avoid re-offending and comply with other conditions. It does not require supervision from Corrective Services. The Court may order that the offender sign a written undertaking to pay certain amounts.

Fines

Fines must be paid within twenty-eight days of a sentencing date. Failure to do so may result in fines enforcement action being taken against you. If you cannot pay this amount within twenty-eight days, please contact the Court Registry to arrange for time to pay.

Suspended fines

Where a court considers a fine of a certain amount is appropriate in all the circumstances at the time of sentence, the court may suspend it for up to 24 months. It does not have to be paid unless the offender commits an offence during the suspension period and the Court orders that the fine be paid.

Community Based Order (CBO)

A community-based order means offenders are given the opportunity to address their criminal behaviour and may involve a requirement to perform community service.

The court fixes the length of the order, which must be at least 6 months and no longer than 24 months.

Whenever a community-based order is issued, the offender must:

  • Report to the nominated community corrections officer within 72 hours of the sentence being ordered
  • Notify the community corrections officer of any change of address or employment
  • Not leave the State without the prior permission of the Community Corrections Centre
  • Comply with the court order

There are three basic requirements of a community-based order, and the court will include at least one of them. The three requirements are:

  1. Supervision: the offender must meet frequently with their community corrections officer. In some instances the Court may choose to include Electronic Monitoring on specific Court Orders.
  1. Program: the offender is to participate in a program or intervention to manage treatment for alcohol and substance abuse, behavioural issues such as anger and violence, or provide education and training opportunities. Offenders may also be required to undertake urinalysis testing for illicit substances.
  1. Community Work: the offender may be required to do unpaid work for a set number of hours.

Intensive Supervision Order (ISO)

An intensive supervision order is a stricter form of a community-based order. A supervision condition is mandatory, whilst the other primary requirements may be imposed by the Court as it sees necessary:

  1. Program
  2. Community Service
  3. Curfew (for up to 6 months).

Suspended Imprisonment Order (SIO)

The suspension of a term of imprisonment is only available under s 76(1) of the Sentencing Act where, the Court determines:

  1. a sentence to a term of imprisonment is warranted; and
  2. the term of the sentence or the aggregate of two or more terms, is not more than 5 years.

The same considerations relevant to the imposition of the term of imprisonment must be revisited in determining whether to suspend that term. This means that all the matters relevant to the circumstances of the offence, as well as those personal to the offender, must be considered again. Talk to us for expert guidance and support.

Conditional Suspended Imprisonment (CSIO)

A Court may impose a term of imprisonment of up to 5 years, but can conditionally suspend that term for 2 years and order the offender to comply with obligations and requirements. It must not be imposed if the offence to which the offender is being sentenced for, was committed when the offender was subject to parole or is serving/yet to serve immediate imprisonment.

The effect of a sentencing order is that you cannot commit any offence that carries with it a term of imprisonment as an available penalty during the period of the order. If you are convicted of such an offence or fail to comply with the terms of the order, you will be liable to be resentenced for the offence/s which the order was imposed.

Common obligations of a Court ordered sentencing outcome:

  1. must report to a community corrections centre within 72 hours after being released by the court, or as otherwise ordered by a speciality court or a CCO;
  2. must notify a CCO of any change of address or place of employment within 2 clear working days after the change, or as otherwise ordered by a speciality court;
  3. must not leave Western Australia except with, and in accordance with, the permission of a speciality court or Community Correction
  4. Must comply with all lawful orders or directions of a CCO.
  5. a supervision requirement
  6. a programme requirement
  7. a curfew requirement

Breach of court orders

Offenders who fail to abide by set conditions or who commit another offence, will be returned to court to be dealt with. If the order is successfully completed with no breaches, the offender will have a record but will not have to serve time in prison.

Pre-Sentence Order (PSO)

A PSO is not a sentence. It is an order that an offender appear before the court on a specific day to be sentenced for the offences to which the PSO applies.

The purpose of a PSO is to give an offender facing imprisonment an opportunity to take steps to address their offending behaviour before the court proceeds with sentencing.

The court may make a PSO in respect of the offender if it considers –

(a) that the seriousness of the imprisonable offence or offences warrants the imposition of a term of imprisonment;

(b) that a PSO would allow the offender to address his or her criminal behaviour and any factors which contributed to the behaviour; and

(c) that if the offender were to comply with a PSO the court might not impose a term of imprisonment for the offence or offences.

Immediate imprisonment

If the Court is of the opinion that either suspending the sentence or placing an offender on a community order would fail to reflect the seriousness of the offence, the Court may order that the sentence be served immediately.

Spent Conviction Order (SCO)

A spent conviction order (SCO) is a court order that a criminal conviction is spent. You generally do not have to tell anyone about a spent conviction. This can help you with employment, finance, travel and other aspects of life.  Sometimes you will have to disclose or acknowledge a conviction even if you have a spent conviction order. This may include when applying for security clearances or when returning to court for a new offence.

The sentencing Court may make a spent conviction order if it considers the offender unlikely to commit a similar offence again and should be relieved immediately of the adverse effect of the conviction—either because the offence is trivial or because the offender has prior good character.

Lack of prior record and/or character references may help to establish good character or satisfactory completion of a pre-sentence programme may help show that the offender is unlikely to reoffend.

Parole order

When serving a sentence of imprisonment, the Court can grant an offender eligible for parole. It will ultimately be a matter for the Prisoners Review Board as to whether to grant, defer or refuse parole and will take into account several factors.

If made eligible for parole, an offender in Western Australia will be given a date when they can be considered as follows:

  1. For a sentence of 4 years or less, the offender must serve half their time in custody.
  2. For a sentence over 4 years, they become eligible when they have served all but two years of their sentence.

Consult our experienced criminal defence lawyers for comprehensive legal assistance and guidance regarding parole eligibility and related matters in Western Australia.

  1. Lifetime Family/Violence Restraining Order
  2. Serial Family Violence Offender declaration
  3. Sex Offender Registry – Reportable Offenders
  4. Forfeiture Orders
  5. Drug Trafficker Orders
  6. Reparation Order
  7. Disqualification Orders
  8. Firearms Licence
  9. Driver’s Licence

Why Choose Hugo Law Group to Defend You

Hugo Law Group is a law firm that is focused on protecting and defending your rights. Drawing on decades of experience, our team of criminal lawyers will guide you through the legal process, providing comprehensive, honest and strategic advice – qualities that give us our renowned reputation.

Whether you want to plead not guilty, you are looking to secure the best possible sentence, or a loved one wants to apply for bail, it is essential to have an experienced team of criminal defence lawyers in your corner.

Seeking comprehensive and practical advice at an early stage will best ensure your rights and interests are protected. Our lawyers will properly prepare and present your case to assist you in getting the best possible outcome.

Contact

At Hugo Law Group, we will clearly explain what your rights and obligations are so that you can make informed decisions about how to deal with the police and the court process.

Even if you have not yet been charged with a criminal offence, you should seek advice from a lawyer at an early stage to ensure that your rights and interests are protected.

Hugo Law Group is the market leader in criminal defence law, providing exceptional representation to people facing serious criminal charges.

As leaders in criminal defence, we know that every story has two sides. We defend yours.

Get in contact with us today or feel free to call us at 02 9696 1361 (Sydney), 02 5104 9640 (Canberra), or 08 6255 6909 (Perth) and find out how we can help you.