Non-association orders and place-restriction orders are sentencing orders that allow courts to direct a defendant not to have contact with certain persons. They may be imposed as a condition of a good behaviour order or an intensive corrections order.
Section 21 of the Crimes (Sentencing) Act 2005 provides that a non-association order means an order prohibiting an offender from:
- being with a named person, or attempting to be with the person; or
- being with a named person or communicating in any way (including electronically) with the person, or attempting to be with the person or to communicate in any way (including electronically) with the person.
A place-restriction order means an order prohibiting an offender from being in, or within a stated distance of, a named place or area or attempting to be in, or within the stated distance, of the place or area.
When can the orders be made?
Section 23 of the Crimes (Sentencing) Act 2005 provides that non-association and place-restriction orders can be made if:
- the offence is a relevant offence (see below); and
- the court is satisfied that it is necessary and reasonable to make the order for 1 or more of the following purposes:
- preventing the offender from harassing anyone or endangering the safety or welfare of anyone;
- preventing the offender from committing further offences (including a relevant offence);
- assisting the offender to manage things that may make the offender more likely to commit further offences (including a relevant offence) if not managed.
A relevant offence is defined as:
- an offence against the Criminal Code 2002, part 4.1 (Property damage offences) that is punishable by imprisonment for 5 years or more; or
- an offence against the Criminal Code chapter 6 (Serious drug offences); or
- an offence against the Criminal Code chapter 7 (Administration of justice offences) that is punishable by imprisonment for 5 years or more; or
- an offence against the Firearms Act 1996 that is punishable by imprisonment for 20 years or more; or
- an offence against the Crimes Act 1900, section 114B (Money laundering); or
- a personal violence offence; or
- an offence prescribed by regulation.
A reference to an offence includes a reference to a related ancillary offence, such as attempting to commit or conspiring to commit any of the above offences.
The restriction imposed on the offender by a non-association order or place restriction order, and the period of the order, must not be unreasonably disproportionate to the purpose for which the order is made.
How long can an order run for?
Section 24 of the Crimes (Sentencing) Act 2005 provides that a non-association order or a place-restriction order must be made for a period not longer than:
- if the order is made with an Intensive Correction Order – 24 months; or
- in any other case – 12 months.
The order must state when it starts and the period for which it operates.
The period of a non-association order or place-restriction order is not limited by the term of any other sentence imposed for the offence for which the order is made.
Explanation and Notice of Orders
Section 25 of the Crimes (Sentencing) Act 2005 provides that if a court makes a non-association order or place-restriction order for the offender, the court must ensure that reasonable steps are taken to explain to the offender in general terms (and in language the offender can readily understand)—
- the nature of the order; and
- the offender’s obligations under the order; and
- the consequences if the offender breaches the obligations.
As soon as practicable after the court makes the non-association order or place-restriction order, the court must ensure that written notice of the order, together with a copy of the order, is given to the offender. For an offender under 18 years old, the notice and order must also be given to a parent or person with parental responsibility. However, failure to give written notice does not invalidate the non-association order or place-restriction order.
What if I breach the order?
A breach of a non-association or place-restriction order can be taken as a breach of the Intensive Correction Order or Good Behaviour Order under which it was made.
If that occurs, you can be arrested and taken to court, where you could be resentenced, potentially to a harsher outcome, including full-time imprisonment.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.