Sentencing

After taking into consideration all the circumstances of the case, including in some instances the impact upon the victims of the crime and the accused's personal situation, the Magistrate has a number of options available when considering a penalty. Many of these sentences can be imposed with or without conviction.

Conviction and imprisonment

A person can be ordered to serve a term of imprisonment. In some circumstances where the accused is under the age of 21, but at least 17, they can be ordered to be detained in a Youth Justice Centre. The maximum term of imprisonment that a Magistrate can impose for a single offence is two years. The maximum aggregate (total) sentence that can be ordered is five years.

Community Correction Order (CCO) 

A CCO can be imposed when a person has been found guilty of an offence punishable by more than 5 penalty units.
In the Magistrates’ Court, the maximum length of a CCO is two years.

A CCO must contain one or more of the following optional conditions:

  • Unpaid community work
  • Supervision by Community Correctional Services
  • Treatment and rehabilitation
  • Non-association with a person or group of people
  • Place or area exclusion – ban on offender entering certain places
  • Residence restriction – restriction on where an offender can or cannot live
  • Alcohol exclusion – restriction on an offender entering licensed premises
  • Judicial monitoring –offender has to come back to court so the magistrate can monitor their progress on the CCO
  • Bond – the offender has to pay an amount of money into court as a bond, which will be returned on successful completion of the CCO

Community Correctional Services administer the CCO.

Special conditions

The Court can, if recommended by the Office of Corrections, require the offender to attend one or more specific programs designed to address the offending behaviour. Should the offender not comply with the order, or commit further offences during the period of the order, they may be charged with breaching the order. This could result in further penalties or imprisonment.

 Fine

A fine is a monetary penalty which can be imposed by the Court. For more information go to the section 'Fines and Penalties' on this website and visit fines.vic.gov.au

With or without conviction, adjourn the hearing on conditions

If the Court has found a charge proven, it may, with or without conviction, adjourn the case for a period of not more than 5 years. The person can enter into an undertaking on the conditions that they may be required to reappear before the Court on the return date if called upon, to be of good behaviour during the period of the bond, and any other special conditions that the Court may order.

Convict and discharge

A court may discharge a person whom it has convicted of an offence.

Area of Legislation: 

Contacts

Contact the Magistrates' Court where your matter is listed or your nearest court. 
Contact details for all Victorian Magistrates' Courts are available under Contact Us

Email: help@magistratescourt.vic.gov.au