Breach offences occur when either:
1. The court takes action because you have committed a further offence during the operational period of a suspended sentence or intensive correctional order; or
2. The department of corrective services takes action because you have failed to comply with or complete a community-based order such as community service, probation or your intensive corrections order.
The penalties imposed vary dependant upon the seriousness of the misconduct and the nature of the re-offence. This area of sentencing is largely governed by the penalties and sentences act. Generally, the court will not tolerate breached its orders and imposes increasing deterrent sentences. In relation to breaches of suspended sentences, the legislation places the onus on the accused to demonstrate that it would be unfair to impose the whole of the suspended sentence.
Where the breach is of a community-based order in addition to the re-sentence the court will impose a further penalty for the act of breaching the order. Further, the court must, as part of any sentence record a conviction.
There are limited defences in relation to a breach of suspended sentence or so. In relation to the breach of a community-based order, it is a defence to demonstrate that you had a reasonable excuse for not complying or that the requirement made of you was not reasonable. It is prudent to obtain advice in relation to relevant defences specific to the facts of your case.
The re-sentence and/or breach proceedings will go back before the court that imposed the original sentence.
Gatenby Criminal Lawyers:
Gatenby Criminal Lawyers regularly appear in relation to breach offences. We can provide you with advice as to prospects of success at trial, defences available and likely sentencing range.