Sydney Office

Level 35
201 Elizabeth Street
Sydney NSW 2000

Melbourne Office

Level 13
575 Bourke Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

Brisbane Office

Level 5
231 North Quay
Brisbane QLD 4000

Canberra Office

Level 5
1 Farrell Place
Canberra ACT 2601

Perth Office

Level 10
111 St Georges Terrace
Perth WA 6000

Armstrong Legal Logo

Privacy Policy  |  Terms & Conditions

Copyright © 2019 Armstrong Legal. All rights reserved.

Browsing

Phone 1300 168 676

menu

Toggle Menu Menu

Suspended sentence

Suspended Sentence | Section 12 | Criminal Sentences

Contact Armstrong Legal:
Sydney: (02) 9261 4555

As a result of amended legislation this penalty was repealed on 24 September 2018.

A suspended sentence of imprisonment (Section 12 good behaviour bond) is a sentence that is suspended upon you entering into a good behaviour bond. Provided the terms of the good behaviour bond are obeyed the gaol sentence will not come into effect. A suspended sentence is only available for sentences of imprisonment of less than 2 years.

DEFINITION:

Section 12 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 is where this type of penalty is found. Section 12 states:

  • A court that imposes a sentence of imprisonment on an offender (being a sentence for a term of not more than 2 years) may make an order:
    • suspending execution of the whole of the sentence for such period (not exceeding the term of the sentence) as the court may specify in the order, and
    • directing that the offender be released from custody on condition that the offender enters into a good behaviour bond for a term not exceeding the term of the sentence.
  • An order under this section may not be made in relation to a sentence of imprisonment if the offender is subject to some other sentence of imprisonment that is not the subject of such an order.
  • Subject to section 99 (1), Part 4 does not apply to a sentence of imprisonment the subject of an order under this section.
  • An order under this section may be made after a court has decided not to make a home detention order in relation to the sentence of imprisonment.

IS A SUSPENDED SENTENCE OF IMPRISONMENT A CONVICTION AND WILL I HAVE A CRIMINAL RECORD?

If you are sentenced to a section 12 suspended sentence of imprisonment then you are convicted of that offence, and it will appear on your criminal record. A section 12 bond is different to, and should not be confused with, a section 9 or 10 bond.

CAN YOU TRAVEL OVERSEAS WHILE ON A SECTION 12 SUSPENDED SENTENCE OF IMPRISONMENT?

Being able to travel overseas whilst on a section 12 suspended sentence of Imprisonment depends on two things:

  • Any conditions that you are supposed to abide by that would prevent you from leaving, or, that you would not be able to fulfil for a period of time whilst you left. And/or
  • The visa requirements of the particular country you intend to enter.

You should get some specific legal advice about your personal situation if you are unsure.

SOME CONDITIONS THAT MAY BE IMPOSED:

Community Corrections Supervision

The court can order that you be supervised by an officer of the NSW Community Corrections (formerly Probation and Parole). Normally a court will order that the supervision remain in place for as long as the Community Corrections deem it necessary

Counselling

The court can order that you attend for drug or alcohol abuse counselling can be made a condition of a good behaviour bond.

If you obey the conditions of the good behaviour bond for the time set by the court there is no further penalty. However if you do not obey the conditions the court may summons you appear before the court to be re sentenced for the offence.

WHAT BREACHES A SECTION 12 SUSPENDED SENTENCE OF IMPRISONMENT AND WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DO?

You can breach your section 12 suspended sentence of imprisonment, by:

  • Committing another offence of any kind;
  • Failing to abide by any other conditions that were set for your bond (like not attending counselling or missing your appointments with your community corrections supervisor).

If you breach your suspended sentence of imprisonment, the court must revoke the order, unless it is satisfied that:

  • The offender’s failure to comply with the bond was "trivial in nature"; or
  • There are good reasons for excusing the offender’s failure to comply with the conditions of the bond.

Even if you breach the suspended sentence order most of the way through the period of suspension, the new penalty will start back at the beginning and you will not get credit for the time you were compliant with the suspended sentence. This is different if the suspended sentence is a Commonwealth sentence pursuant to section 20(1)(b) of the Crimes Act 1914.

You cannot be resentenced to another suspended sentence of imprisonment and the only options for the Court to consider are an Intensive Corrections Order, Home Detention, or full time jail instead.


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?

Leading Criminal Law NSW 2017 ISO 9001 Legal Best Practice Accredited Specialists Criminal Law Sydney Business Awards Winner 2011