Community Corrections Order Breaches
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Community Corrections Order Breaches
You are accused of Breaching your CCO. What do you do next?
If you are accused of a Community Corrections Order contravention (CCO), then you have already come into contact with the criminal justice system. You may have been self-represented or represented by legal aid. You were sentenced to a CCO and now you are charged with contravening it. Community Corrections Order contraventions can be serious and detrimental to your rehabilitation. You may be innocent of the contravention or it was unintentional. Either way, an experienced criminal defence lawyer can manage the CCO contravention proceedings and get you the best outcome. Galbally Parker Lawyers appear for clients charged with CCO contraventions on a weekly basis and we know how to manage the case and the bureaucracy of the Department of Corrections. Our CCO breach lawyers can help you.
What are Community Corrections Order Breaches?
Community Corrections Orders (CCO’s) are serious orders and can form the whole or part of sentences handed down by Courts in relation to a range of offences, which can be imposed instead of or in addition to sentences of up to 12 months imprisonment. CCO’s can be handed down in relation to even very serious offences, which hold a maximum duration of 5 years.
However, they are not simple nor lenient sentences. They are, in fact, considered to be sentences of imprisonment, which are served in the community so the person sentenced to a CCO is always considered to be on a form of conditional liberty. CCO’s impose a range of conditions, decided by the sentencing Magistrate or Judge, after Corrections assess the accused person’s suitability for the order and recommends certain conditions.
These conditions may include:
- intensive compliance periods;
- supervision by the Department of Corrections;
- treatment conditions;
- community work;
- non-association conditions;
- a residential restriction condition;
- place or area exclusion conditions;
- a curfew;
- an alcohol restriction condition;
- a judicial monitoring condition; and
- an electronic monitoring condition.
CCO’s can last for up to 5 years and can be onerous on the person. Sometimes people on CCO’s face situations which make compliance with the orders difficult. In such situations, the offender can apply for a variation of the order to the Court which sentenced them, or apply to the Secretary for a suspension of the order. However, if these steps are not taken and variation or suspension achieved, the offender may be charged with a breach (a criminal offence) and have to appear in Court.
If you have been charged with a breach of a CCO, you should seek legal advice in relation to your options.
What Happens in Court after a CCO Breach?
During the court proceedings regarding the breach, the Court has several options, which include the following:
- No Action: The Court may choose not to take any action regarding the breach.
- Varying or Imposing Conditions: The Court has the authority to modify or revoke any additional conditions previously imposed or to introduce new conditions.
- Revoking and Re-sentencing: In some cases, the Court may decide to revoke the existing order and re-sentence the offender.
Before reaching a decision, the Court may request a Sentence Assessment Report to gather additional information.
If the Community Correction Order is revoked, the Court may proceed to re-sentence the offender, potentially imposing a more severe sentence, such as an Intensive Correction Order or Full-Time Custody.
Alternatively, the Court may choose to re-sentence the offender by issuing another Community Correction Order, with modified or additional conditions.
What are Possible Defences for a CCO Breach
When facing allegations of breaching a Community Correction Order, it is essential to explore potential defences that can help protect your rights and interests. Various circumstances and factors can contribute to a strong defence strategy.
It is important to remember that each case is unique, and the specific circumstances surrounding the alleged offense play a significant role in determining the potential defences. By thoroughly examining the details Galbally Parker will devise a tailored defence strategy to effectively address the situation. Possible defences include:
- Honest and Reasonable Belief: The accused genuinely and reasonably believed that they did not breach the Order;
- Sudden or Extraordinary Emergency: The breach occurred due to an unexpected and extraordinary emergency situation that compelled the individual to act contrary to the Order;
- Third-Party Responsibility: Another person bears responsibility for the alleged breach, and the accused should not be held accountable;
- Corrections Error: Corrections officers are busy people and they may have inaccurately recorded that a person was absent, when they were not, or omitted to record an entry which then gave rise to a breach.
Depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the alleged offence, there may be other potential defences. Each case is unique and requires an individualised approach and strategic considerations. Galbally Parker Lawyers will ask key questions to determine the most appropriate defence, such as:
- Did a sudden and extraordinary emergency arise, leading to the breach?
- Is there a possibility of mistaken identity in the alleged breach?
- Did the accused have an honest and reasonable belief that they were complying with the Community Correction Order?
- Could there be a misunderstanding or miscommunication with Corrections that led to the alleged breach?
Get in Touch With Galbally Parker CCO Breach Lawyers
If you have committed serious breaches and have a history of previous violations while on Correction Orders, there is a possibility of facing imprisonment for any further breach. To navigate this situation and increase your chances of avoiding a custodial sentence, it is crucial to seek legal advice from an experienced defence lawyer.
The expert lawyers at Galbally Parker have extensive courtroom experience and possess the skills necessary to make compelling arguments on your behalf. Additionally, we can provide you with a realistic assessment of the potential penalties you may face. Contact us to ensure you receive the expert legal assistance you need in your case.