Anastasia Qvist is an outstanding lawyer. My criminal law situation (family violence order) was difficult, complex and Ana's diligence saved me as I was going through the most difficult period of my life. Ana is down to earth, commonsense and she even kept our costs to a minimum. She is a skilled litigator and knows the ins and outs of the ACT Magistrates Court. She dealt skillfully with the DPP and is an excellent negotiator. You will get a fair representation and she genuinely cares about her clients. She has my complete recommendation. The lady goes to bat for her clients.
I would strongly recommend Anastasia to anyone who is seeking legal representation. As a first-time offender who was charged with a Level 2 Drink Driving offence, she walked me through every step of the matter and was very upfront and clear on all aspects of my case. She was always accessible when I needed advice. Her approach and advice were excellent. Under her representation, I received the best possible outcome and managed to avoid a criminal conviction. She was a pleasure to deal with throughout the whole matter.
Anastasia Qvist was very professional and helpful in every step of my matter. I got a very good outcome and I can’t thank you enough for your hard work and the Armstrong Legal team in Canberra. I would highly recommend her!!!
Throughout Angela has been the consummate professional. She maintained a calm, yet strong demeanour remained informative and completely open in her communication and took complete ownership of the situation. We felt confident we finally had an advocate to steer us out of the nightmare we were in, and she did so with great respect and sincerity. I cannot speak more highly of Angela. She has literally rescued our family from what looked very much like a hopeless future.
Words can’t describe how grateful I am to Trudie Cameron being my solicitor and to Andrew Tiedt presenting my case in the court. They both have been very supportive and amazingly professional and effective. I’ve got an absolutely fantastic outcome I couldn’t even dream about.
Soon after meeting Andrew I knew he was the solicitor I wanted to handle my matter. He immediately sprang into action which brought me stability and hope during a tumultuous time in my life. Andrew was never afraid to give me straight answers to my tough questions which is a true mark of integrity. He is clearly at ease in the court environment and I believe his calm and measured demeanour went a long way to helping me secure the best result from my day in court. I would certainly recommend you approach Andrew if you need assistance.
"Andrew Tiedt was very professional and considerate to personal circumstances and gave sound advice that resulted in the best outcome possible. Highly recommended."
Sentence Assessments Reports
In September 2018, there were significant changes made to sentencing in New South Wales courts. This included changes to the reports provided to the court to assist with sentencing. Community Corrections is the government department responsible for preparing and providing reports to the court for sentence, among other things. Community Corrections (previously Probation and Parole) would previously often be required to prepare a Pre-Sentence Report (PSR). Since the changes to the sentencing procedure in New South Wales, that report is now known as a Sentencing Assessment Report (SAR).
What is the Purpose of a Sentencing Assessment Report (SAR)?
A Sentencing Assessment Report (SAR), prepared by an officer of Community Corrections, is to assist the court in deciding on the appropriate sentencing order. An SAR will commonly be ordered where the court is considering sentencing an accused to imprisonment and wants to fully explore all the alternative to a custodial sentence.
Courts are only allowed to sentence offenders to imprisonment as a matter of last resort. There must be no other appropriate sentence to impose in the circumstances. An SAR assists the court to explore all the options available as an alternative to a full-time prison sentence.
When is a Sentencing Assessment Report (SAR) Required?
The court must obtain an SAR if it intends to order a:
Where a defendant is being considered for one of the above sentencing options, the SAR will assess whether this option is a suitable one for the person’s circumstances.
What Happens if the Court Orders an SAR?
If the court determines that a Sentencing Assessment Report (SAR) is required, the matters is usually adjourned for six weeks for a full SAR interview to be conducted and a report drafted. If a full SAR is ordered, the defendant will be required to attend a Community Corrections office in your own time, usually within seven days of the court appearance. The interview may take a few hours and then the court will be provided with the report prior to sentencing.
If the court wants the matter dealt with immediately, it may order a Sentencing Assessment Report (SAR) immediately, which is referred to as a “Duty SAR.” If a Duty SAR is ordered, this usually occurs on the day of sentence at court, prior to sentencing. You will be required to attend the Community Corrections office at the court and participate in an interview. The Community Corrections officer will then draft the report on the day and provide that to the court to assist with sentencing.
What Will I be Asked During the SAR Interview?
The interview will consist of questions relating to the following topics (depending on your offence), some of these may include:
- the offence(s) committed;
- your criminal record and prior offences;
- your attitude to and insight into your offending;
- the risk of re-offending;
- whether you have had supervision in the past and your adherence to any previous orders;
- whether you will benefit from supervision and the likelihood of Community Corrections suspending supervision;
- your willingness or availability to participate in Community Service Work;
- your health, mental health issues and any current treatment;
- your financial circumstances; and
- whether you have any drug and alcohol dependencies.
The Community Corrections officer is likely to ask you whether you are willing to undertake community service work or participate in an Intensive Corrections Order (ICO). The fact that you are asked these questions does not mean that this is the penalty the court is considering or will impose. It is important to carefully consider your position before refusing or declining to participate in community service work or an Intensive Corrections Order (ICO). If community service or an Intensive Corrections Order are not options available to the court because you have refused or declined, the risk of jail increases. Without these alternative sentencing options, the court may determine that the only appropriate sentence is full time jail.
Based on your responses and the type of offence committed, Community Corrections may find that certain sentencing options are not available.
It is important that you co-operate fully with the officer, as the officer will make recommendations as to an appropriate sentence in their report.
What Does the Court Do with the SAR?
The court will review the Sentencing Assessment Report (SAR) and take its recommendations into consideration when sentencing. The recommendations made in the SAR are not binding on the court, with the exception that the court cannot make a community service or home detention order unless you are deemed suitable for those options. The recommendations contained in the report and content of the report itself usually has some persuasive force and may be adopted by the Court. A favourable report often translates to a more favourable sentence.
If you require advice on Sentencing Assessment Reports or any other legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.
WHERE TO NEXT?
If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.
WHY CHOOSE ARMSTRONG LEGAL?
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