Under Section 12, a court could impose a suspended sentence and direct an offender to enter into a good behaviour bond.
The repealed s 12 provided:
A court that imposes a sentence of imprisonment on an offender (being a sentence for a term of not more than 2 years) may make an order:
Suspending execution of the whole of the sentence for such period (not exceeding the term of the sentence) as the court may specify in the order, and
Directing that the offender be released from custody on condition that the offender enters into a good behaviour bond for a term not exceeding the term of the sentence.
An order under this section may not be made in relation to a sentence of imprisonment if the offender is subject to some other sentence of imprisonment that is not the subject of such an order.
Subject to s 99(1), Part 4 does not apply to a sentence of imprisonment the subject of an order under this section.
An order under this section may be made after a court has decided not to make a home detention order in relation to the sentence of imprisonment.
A person sentenced to a s 12 suspended sentence of imprisonment was convicted of that offence and it will appear on their criminal record.
A s 12 suspended sentence allowed an offender to avoid prison however breach of the bond would result in the revocation of the bond. Following this the court must order that the offender be sentenced or re-sentenced to imprisonment to be served in full-time detention, or make an intensive correction order in respect of the offence concerned.
Section 12 bonds imposed before 24 September 2018
Existing s 12 bonds will cease to have effect at the end of 3 years from 24 September 2019, unless already expired.
If an offender is currently serving a suspended sentence imposed before 24 September 2018, the repeal of s 12 does not affect its continuing operation. However, if the offender fails to comply with the sentence, the court will apply the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 as if the amending Act had not been enacted.
Where an offender breaches a s 12 bond imposed before 24 September 2018, proceedings will be dealt with under s 98 as in force before the amending Act.
S 98 (3) (before 24 September 2018) provided:
In the case of a good behaviour bond referred to in s 12, a court must revoke the bond unless it is satisfied:
That the offender’s failure to comply with the conditions of the bond was trivial in nature, or
That there are good reasons for excusing the offender’s failure to comply with the conditions of the bond.
Revocation and commencement of sentence
Once a s 12 bond has been revoked, the court must either:
Order that the offender be sentenced or re-sentenced to imprisonment to be served in full-time detention, or
Make an intensive correction order (ICO) under the Crimes Sentencing Procedure Act 1999 in respect of the offence concerned: Schedule 2, Pt 29, cl 76(4) Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act
If an offender is re-sentenced to imprisonment, the sentence commences on the date the bond is revoked.
Part 5 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act provides for ICOs. Under s 67, an ICO cannot be made for certain offences, including:
Murder or manslaughter
A prescribed sexual offence
A terrorism offence
An offence relating to a contravention of a serious crim prevention order
An offence relating to a contravention of a public safety order
An offence involving the discharge of a firearm
The commission of or an intention to commit any of the above offences
Attempting or conspiracy or incitement to commit any of the above offences
ICO’s are the most serious type of sentence which can be served in the community. If a court imposes an ICO, it must at the time of sentencing impose the standard conditions of an ICO: Section 73. The standard conditions of an ICO are that:
The offender must not commit any offence
The offender must submit to supervision by a community corrections officer
In addition to the standard conditions of an ICO, the court must at the time of sentence impose at least one of the additional conditions referred to in subsection (2) of s 73A.
Under s 68 ICOs are not available where the duration of the term of imprisonment for the offence exceeds 2 years or 3 years for an aggregate sentence of imprisonment.
For more information on Section 12 suspended sentences, call George Sten & Co Criminal Lawyers. We can advise you on your matter and represent you in court. call our Sydney Criminal Lawyers on (02) 9261 8640 or 0412 423 569.