Suspended sentence


As a result of amended legislation this penalty was repealed on 24 September 2018.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

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.

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