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    Theft or Larceny Sentencing and Penalties

    Larceny is a crime of dishonesty and taken seriously by the court. Apart from a fine and gaol, the local court has a wide range of sentencing options including a section 10 dismissal, various types of bonds, and community service orders. The Local Court Lawyers will be able to give you advice on the types of sentences the local court may impose in accordance with your individual circumstances and the nature of your offence. Where gaol terms are being considered by the court the Local Court Lawyers can make applications to suspend the gaol term, make an application for an intensive correction order, or make an application for home detention.

    Penalties

    • The offence of larceny is found in section 117 of the Crimes Act 1900 Bat as stated above, there are many ‘relatives’ of larceny and these can be found in under sections of the Crimes Act. The value of the property affects the penalties and the way in which the court deals with the matter.
    • If the property is valued over $5,000 it is a serious indictable offence that can be dealt with in the local court (if neither the police or defence ask to have it dealt with in the district court.) The offence carries a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment and a fine of 100 penalty units. (Note: 1 penalty unit = $110, but this amount can change from year to year.) It should be noted that the maximum gaol term for a single offence in the local court is 2 years. The district court can gaol you to the maximum allowed in the Crimes Act, so it is a rare day when the defence elects to have the matter dealt with by the district court instead of the local court!
    • If the property is valued under $5,000 and more than $2,000 it becomes a minor indictable offence and only the prosecution can elect to have the matter dealt with in the district court. The maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment and/or a fine of 50 penalty units (just a refresher, at the time of writing this, one penalty unit = $110).
    • If the property is valued under $2,000 then the maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment and 20 penalty units (20 x $110).

    Section 10 dismissal

    If the matter is minor and you have a good criminal history your lawyer can make an application to have the matter proved but dismissed. This would be like the local court giving a caution. The offence is proved but there is no conviction recorded. This will enable you to say that you have not been convicted of any matters of dishonesty regarding employment or international travel. Sometimes, a s10 can be accompanied by a good behavior bond.

    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 supervision 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 sentence is breached by committing another offence then, unless there are good reasons not to, the court will impose a gaol term. More likely then 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 committing an offence, the court will most likely decide to initiate breach proceedings and re-sentence you for those offences (we call this “calling-up the bond”) that led to the bond, plus a new penalty/sentence for the fresh offence. The Local Court Lawyers will ensure that all avenues including the Crime Sentencing and Procedure Act 1999 are used to achieve the best possible outcome where this situation arises.

    Pre Sentence Report

    If the 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 included in your sentence.  Generally the courts appreciate a defendant willing to enter into a rehabilitation program, as this demonstrates a sign of remorse and a desire to help him/her self, to avoid reoffending.

    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 1990) to have your offence discharged, without the offence being proved and placed on a community treatment order.

    Representations to the police – plea bargaining

    If you have exercised your right to silence, the police may not have all the facts. There may also be issues in relation to the admissibility of evidence or there is other evidence available that the police were not aware of. Once you have given your version to the Local Court Lawyers there may be a factual or legal position that can be presented to the Prosecutions Section of the NSW Police Force in writing. The Local Court Lawyers are well versed in this process and the likely prospects of success (or not). If written submissions are successful then a charge can be withdrawn and you can avoid the expenses associated with a hearing, you may receive a less serious penalty by amending the facts sheet or the prosecution may lay a less serious charge.

    There can be many issues with larceny and offences akin to larceny. Some of it may be evidentiary, for example, your identification may be inadmissible or your admission may have been obtained improperly. 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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