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    Property Damage Sentencing

    Despite the law prescribing lengthy terms of imprisonment for destroying or damaging property the court will only sentence an offender to a gaol term in the most serious cases. The local court has a wide range of sentencing options including a fine, a section 10 dismissal, various types of bonds and community service orders, or a term of imprisonment. The type of penalty you will receive will ultimately depend on your individual circumstances and the nature of your offence. The LOCAL COURT LAWYERS will be able to give you advice on the type of sentence the local court may impose. Where gaol terms are being considered by the court, the Local Court Lawyers can make applications to suspend the gaol term, make an assessment for an intensive correction order, or make an assessment for home detention.

    Section 10 dismissal

    If the matter is minor and you have a good criminal history your lawyer can make an application for the offence to be proved but dismissed. This is analogous to the local court giving you a caution. The offence is proved but there is no conviction recorded. This will enable you to be able to say that you have not been convicted of any matters of property damage in relation to employment or international travel.

    Other types of bonds

    • A section 9 bond is a conviction and requires you to be of good behaviour. It can also include requirements for supervisions and rehabilitation.
    • A section 11 bond is what used to be called a Griffith Remand. It is used where intensive rehabilitation and participation in an intervention program is necessary.
    • A section 12 bond is a gaol term that is suspended. If the suspended sentenced is breached by committing another offence then, unless there are good reasons not to, the court will impose a gaol term. More likely than not, the court will add a term to the suspended sentence for the fresh offence/s.

    Offences committed whilst on a bond

    If you are on a section 9 bond, section 10 bond, section 11 bond or section 12 bond at the time of the offence, the local court will most likely decide to initiate breach proceedings and re-sentence you for those offences. The Local Court Lawyers will ensure that all avenues of the Crime Sentencing and Procedure Act 1999 are used to achieve the best possible outcome where this situation arises.

    Pre-Sentence Report

    If the local court is considering a gaol term, the Local Court Lawyers will make an application for a pre-sentence report to explore options other than gaol. We will guide you through the process to ensure that you are aware of the pre-conditions necessary to comply with this order and avoid a gaol term.

    Crimes Sentencing Procedure Act 1999

    The Crimes Sentencing Procedure Act 1999 lists many matters the local court is to take into account when sentencing. These matters include circumstances of aggravation and mitigation. The Local Court Lawyers will be able to use their experience and knowledge to ensure that your best case is presented to the local court.

    Rehabilitation

    Where drug and alcohol addiction are a factor in the offending, the Local Court Lawyers will help you enter into rehabilitation or counselling. We can make an application to the court for rehabilitation or counselling and we can ask for it to be part of your sentence.

    Mental Health

    If you suffer from a mental illness or condition then the Local Court Lawyers can help. If certain conditions are met we can make an application under section 32 of the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act to have your offence discharged, without the offence being proved and placed on a community treatment order.

    There are many issues to be considered in relation to destroy or damage property offences. For example, your identification may be inadmissible or your admission may have been improperly obtained. The Local Court Lawyers will be able to use their experience and knowledge by weighing the evidentiary burden of the prosecution with available evidence and explain where the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution case lay to help you make the best decision to achieve the best possible outcome.

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