​ሕግንና ደንብን በተመለከተ እርዳታ ማግኘት ይፈልጋሉን? - Amharic | هل تحتاج لمساعدة قانونية؟ - Arabic | ܤܢܝܼܩܵܐ ܝ݇ܘ̤ܬ ܠܗܲܝܵܪܬܵܐ ܩܵܢܘܿܢܵܝܬܵܐ؟ - Assyrian | Need Legal Help? - Auslan | Treba li vam pravna pomoc? - Bosnian | Burmese â Need Legal Help? | 需要法律帮助吗? - Chinese Simplified | 需要法律幫助嗎? - Chinese Traditional | Trebate li pravnu pomoć? - Croatian | ضرورت به کمک قانونی دارید؟ - Dari | Wïc Kuɔɔny në Wɛ̈t Löŋ? - Dinka | آیا به کمک حقوقی نیاز دارید؟ - Farsi | Gadreva na Veivuke Vakalawa? - Fijian | Kailangan ninyo ba ng tulong na panglegal? - Filipino | Besoin d’aide juridique ? - French | Χρειάζεστε βοήθεια σε νομικά ζητήματα - Greek | क्या आपको कानूनी सलाह चाहिए? - Hindi | Butuhkan Bantuan dalam Masalah Hukum? - Indonesian | Hai bisogno di assistenza legale? - Italian | ត្រូវការជំនួយលើបញ្ហាផ្លូវច្បាប់ឬទេ? - Khmer | 법적인 도움이 필요하십니까? - Korean | Ви треба ли помош со правни работи? - Macedonian | कानूनी सहयोग चाहिएको छ? - Nepalese | Necessita de ajuda com questões jurídicas? - Portuguese | Вам нужна юридическая помощь? - Russian | E Manaomia Fesoasoani i Mea Tau Tulafono? - Samoan | а ли вам треба помоћ у правним питањима? - Serbian | Ma u baahan tahay Caawimmad xagga sharciga ah?- Somali | ¿Necesita ayuda con cuestiones jurídicas? - Spanish | சட்ட உதவி தேவையா? - Tamil | ท่านต้องการความช่วยเหลือทางด้านกฎหมายไหม? - Thai | Fiema’u ha tokoni Fakalao? - Tongan | Yasal Danışmaya İhtiyacınız mı var? - Turkish | Cần Được Giúp Đỡ Về Luật Pháp? - Vietnamese |

The decision  

    Things the court considers

    When sentencing you, the magistrate will usually go through the details of the offence and your record. They will consider factors, such as:

    • the circumstances of the offence, including any 'aggravating' or 'mitigating' factors
    • the maximum penalty for the particular offence
    • your financial situation
    • your driving or criminal record
    • whether you have completed any relevant programs
    • whether or not you are remorseful for committing the offence.

    Sentencing Assessment Report 

    A Sentencing Assessment Report is a report which may be ordered by the court after you plead guilty or are found guilty of a crime. The report is prepared by Community Corrections, which are part of Corrective Services NSW. Community Corrections will interview you and ask you questions for the purpose of the report. 

    The report will include a risk assessment and make recommendations about whether you are suitable for a supervision plan or community service work.  

    The assessment report will include: 

    • sources of information : this is a list of where the information in the report has come from.  
    • current circumstances: this will include information like where you are living, your court matters, your family situation and education/employment.
    • factors relating to offending: this will include information such as your attitude, substance abuse, your finances and your mental health. 
    • responsivity: this is information about your willingness and ability to undertake intervention programs.
    • assessment and recommendations: Community Corrections will make an assessment of your level of risk of committing another crime and make a recommendation about whether you are suitable to go on a supervision plan or for community service work.

    Previously, Pre-Sentence Reports (PSR) were ordered by the court to help make a decision about what is an appropriate sentence. These have now been replaced with Sentencing Assessment Reports. 

     If you believe any of the factual information on the assessment report is incorrect, you should get legal advice.

    Possible penalties

    Every offence has a maximum penalty.  The maximum penalty is the highest penalty a court can give you for the offence. 

    Depending on the t​ype of offence, the court may consider sentencing you to one or more of the following:

    • section 10 
    • fine 
    • Conditional Release Order (CRO) 
    • Conditional Correctional Order (CCO) 
    • Intensive Correction Order (ICO) 
    • full-time imprisonment.

     On September 24 2018, changes were made to the type of penalties the court can give someone. 

    Section 10 

    There are different type of section 10's including: 

    • section 10(1)(a) or section 10 dismissal 
    • section 10(1)(c) 
    • section 10A.

    Section 10(1)(a) or section 10 dismissal 

    The court can find you guilty but not record a conviction. 

    A section 10 dismissal means you cannot be given any other punishment.

    A section 10 dismissal is usually only given where:

    • you have a clear criminal and/or driving record
    • your offending behaviour is minor 
    • there is little chance of you offending again
    • there were mitigating factors that led to the offence.

    Even if the above factors apply to your case, there is no guarantee you will get a section 10 dismissal. If you want to know whether you could get a section 10 dismissal for your case, you should get legal advice.

    If you get a section 10 for a driving matter, you will not get any demerit points for the offence.

    Section 10(1)(c) 

    The court can find you guilty but convict you and reder you to an intervention program. 

    Section 10A 

    The court can find you guilty of an offence and convict you, but decide not to punish you any further. This is also called a section 10A penalty. Unlike a section 10 dismissal, your conviction will be recorded, and if it is a traffic matter you will also get demerit points for the offence.

    Before 24 September 2018, you could be sentenced to a section 10 bond. This was often referred to as a "good behaviour bond" because a condition was to be of good behaviour. The court no longer has the power to give a section 10 bond. If you are on a section 10 bond, you must continue to follow the conditions of that bond. This is now referred to as a Conditional Release Order (CRO). If you are on a section 10 bond and you are convicted of another offence the court can re-consider the penalty for the offence you committed to get the section 10. This means they can re-open your previous matter to decide on a new penalty.

    Community Release Order (CRO)

    A Community Release Order (CRO) is a sentence where you remain in the community but are supervised by Community Corrections (part of Corrective Services). 

    The court can decide whether or not to record a conviction, when sentencing you to a Community Release Order. The order will be for a maximum of 2 years You will have to follow the conditions described by the magistrate. 

    Every CRO has these mandatory conditions:

    • you must not commit any offence, and
    • you must attend any court date.

    The magistrate has the power to also include other conditions that you have to follow. 

    You should get legal advice, if you think you have breached the conditions of your community release order.  

    Community Correction Order (CCO) 

    A Community Correction Order (CCO) is a type of sentence where you remain in the community but are supervised by Community Corrections. A CCO is a harsher penalty than a CRO.

    If you receive a CCO a conviction will be recorded.

    Every CCO has the following conditions:

    • you must not commit any offence, and
    • you must attend any court date.

    The magistrate has the power to also include other conditions that you have to follow.   

    If you think you have breached the conditions of your community correction order, you should get legal advice.

    Fine

    If you get a fine, you have to pay money to the court within 28 days. For many minor offences this is the most common penalty.

    If you do not pay your fine within 28 days the court can send the fine to Revenue NSW, who can then take enforcement action against you to recover the fine.

    If you cannot afford to pay the fine in one go, you can apply for time to pay.

    For more information, see After court.

    Intensive correction order (ICO)

    A magistrate can order that you serve the term of imprisonment by way of an Intensive Correction Order (ICO).

    An ICO means you are subject to certain conditions for a period of time. The compulsory conditions are:

    • you must not commit any offence, and
    • you must submit to supervision by a community corrections officer.

    A court must also impose at least one of the following conditions (unless there are exceptional circumstances):

    • home detention
    • electronic monitoring condition
    • curfew condition
    • community service work condition
    • rehabilitation or treatment condition
    • banning you from drinking alcohol or taking drugs
    • banning you from communicating/seeing certain people  (non-association condition)
    • banning you from going certain places (place restriction condition).

    The magistrate can also include other conditions on your order if they think it is appropriate. 

    Imprisonment

    Many criminal and driving offences can be punished by imprisonment. The length of a prison sentence can range from a few months to many years, depending on the offence. A term of imprisonment usually involves (unless the term is of 6 months or less) a 'non-parole period' which is the minimum term that will be spent in prison and an 'additional term' which is the period of time to be served on parole in the community.

    Before 24 September 2018 a court could give someone a suspended sentence. This meant they were not automatically sent to prison and the sentence was suspended.

    If you have previously been given a suspended sentence it will continue for the period imposed by the court. Committing another offence while you on a suspended sentence may mean you are sent to prison.

    If you have committed another offence while you are on a suspended sentence, you should get legal advice.  

    Setence Conversion

    On 24 September 2018 major sentencing reforms commenced in New South Wales.

    Even if you were sentenced before this date, you may be affected by the change.

    Some types of sentences, which were given before the commencement date, were automatically converted (changed into) a new type of sentence.

    The table below outlines sentence conversion:

    ​Setences given before 24 September 2018

    ​Converted sentence as of 24 September 2018

    ​Home Detention Order
    ​Intensive Correctional Order (ICO) with home detention condition
    ​Intensive Correction Order (ICO)
    ​New Intensive Correction Order (ICO)
    ​Community Service Order (CSO)
    ​New Community Correction Order (CCO) with community service condition
    ​Section 9 good behaviour bond
    ​New Community Correction Order (CCO)
    ​Section 10(1)(b) bond
    ​New Conditional Release Order (CRO)
    ​Suspended sentence (s.12)
    ​Stays the same. Only changes if it is revoked.


     For more information about how your current sentence may be affected, you should get legal advice.

    Other court orders

    The court can also impose:

    • licence disqualification
    • mandatory interlock program
    • costs.

    Licence disqualification

    If you are convicted of a driving offence, the court may disqualify you from holding a drivers licence for a period of time. At the end of the disqualification period you will need to apply to the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) to get your licence back before you can drive.

    If you are concerned about losing your licence, you should get legal advice.

    There are serious penalties for driving while disqualified, including further disqualification periods, large fines and imprisonment. If your drivers licence has been disqualified and you are caught driving, you should get legal advice.

    For more information, see Losing your licence.

    Mandatory interlock program

    If you have been convicted of a driving offence including alcohol, the court may make a Mandatory Interlock Order. A Mandatory Interlock Order may be made if you have been convicted of:

    • high prescribed concentration of alcohol (PCA),
    • a second or subsequent drink driving offence in a 5 year period,
    • failing to provide a breath or blood sample when requested by police, or
    • other serious driving offence involving alcohol.

    A Mandatory Interlock Order means you will have to complete a disqualification period during which you cannot drive. When the disqualification has ended, you may be able to obtain an interlock driver licence. If you have an interlock driver licence, you are only allowed to drive vehicles which are fitted with an approved interlock device. This device requires you to provide a breath sample before the vehicle will start. The device must be installed and regularly maintained by an approved provider. Tampering with the device is an offence.

    If you do not obtain the interlock driver licence, you will be disqualified from  driving for 5 years from the date of conviction (as at 1 February 2015).

    The court can make an exemption order that means you do not have to obtain an interlock driver licence or interlock device at the end of your disqualification period. However, an exemption order can only be made in exceptional circumstances.

    For more information, see the R​MS website.

    ​Costs

    In addition to any court fine you may receive for the offence you committed, you may also be ordered to pay courts costs, a victims support levy, legal costs, criminal compensation and restitution.

    For more information, see After court.

    Other sentencing options

    Other sentencing options include:

    • Circle sentencing

    Circle sentencing

    This is a program for Aboriginal people where members of the Aboriginal community are part of the sentencing process. ​

    Appealing the sentence

    If you think that the sentence you are given is too harsh or inappropriate, do not argue with the magistrate. You may be able to appeal to the District Court within 28 days of the decision. Before you file an appeal, you should get legal advice.

    For more information about appeals, see After court. ​​