Someone who has been charged with a breaching offence is currently in breach of a sentencing order imposed by the Courts. Breaching orders can include everything from a breach of a good behaviour bond, suspended sentence/probation, community service orders or intensive corrections orders. The consequences of breaching an order can be serious and may include periods of actual imprisonment.
Breach of Good Behaviour Bond
If the offender is convicted of an offence attracting a possible sentence of imprisonment at any time during the period of a good behaviour bond, they will not only have to deal with the consequences of the new offence, but the sentencing judge or magistrate will have to consider whether or not to re-sentence the offender as a result of breaching the bond. The court will also have to consider whether any financial amounts attached to the bond should be forfeited.
If you commit an offence punishable by imprisonment while you are serving a suspended sentence, the court must determine what action to take in respect of the suspended sentence. The options for the court are:
- Activate the suspended sentence, either in whole or in part, and require the person to serve that sentence in custody or subject the person to a more intensive parole order; or
- Extend the operational period of the suspended sentence.
It is imperative that you are legally represented if the court is dealing with a breach of suspended sentence.
Breach of Community Service Order
If you fail to comply with the requirements of a community service order without reasonable excuse, an application to revoke the order could potentially be made by the assigned corrective services officer under the order. This may cause the court to reconsider the sentencing options imposed.
In some circumstances, the court may be able to extend the period of time allowable to complete the community service order, which is usually 12 months unless otherwise ordered by the court.
Failure to comply with the community service hours required and/or within the set time-period will constitute to a breach of the order. It may also be a breach of the order not to attend job sites as directed without reasonable cause.
If an application to revoke the order is made against you and you do not appear in court, an arrest warrant will may be issued against you.
Breach of Probation Order
If you are ordered to serve a sentence of probation, you are required to comply with strict conditions, including no further offending, for the duration of the order.
If you breach your probation order, the court has the option to punish you for the breach and also to re-sentence you for the offences for which you were placed on probation.
Breach of an Intensive Correction Order
An offender who breaches an intensive correction order (ICO) may be sentenced for the term of imprisonment that remains at the time of the offence, which is likely to be served within a correctional centre unless the offender can show exceptional circumstances as to why this should not occur.
Do You Require Our Expertise?
If you are required to appear at Court for a breach offence, or you are pleading guilty to offences which will breach an existing order for which you are subject, it is important that you are legally represented to obtain the best possible outcome.
Criminal sentencing can be complex and you should ensure that your legal representatives are experienced criminal lawyers, who have an in depth understanding of the criminal sentencing regime in Queensland.
Fuller & White Solicitors regularly appear in Courts throughout Southeast Queensland on breach matters and have a proven track record of achieving outstanding results for our clients.