What Are Court Orders?
A Court Order is a mechanism used by the Courts to administer justice. The Court may impose certain orders when deciding your case. There are several types of Court Orders.
|Court Order Type
|A Court Order enabling an accused person to be released from imprisonment whilst their case is being heard. There are specific conditions which can include reporting and conduct obligations.
|Intervention Orders can be ordered by the Court to protect an individual the Court considers to be at risk. For example, intervention orders can include Family Violence Orders or Personal Safety Intervention orders. They involve restricting contact or behaviour of a specific person or people.
|Community Corrections Orders
|A community corrections order can require you to do certain things instead of serving a term of imprisonment. For example, the order may require you to attend certain programs, report to a community corrections centre, or impose a curfew between certain times (e.g. remaining at home between 9pm and 6am).
|Orders to Pay Fines
|The Court can order you to pay certain amounts, either in instalments or in full (but you must be allowed time to pay the fine).
Note: Suspended Sentence orders have been abolished in Victoria for offences after 1 September 2014.
Do I Have to Comply with Court Orders?
Yes, you are required to comply with the conditions of your Court Order. Failing to comply with conditions of your order may be considered a ‘breach of a court order’ or in more serious cases ‘contempt of court’.
In relation to Bail, Intervention Orders and Community Corrections Order, you may be charged with an offence for breaching the order.
The Court imposing the order must ensure you consent to any orders and that you understand the obligations imposed.
What Are the Penalties for Breaching a Court Order?
The penalties will vary according to the type and content of court order and the individual circumstances of your case. If the Court believes you have breached a Court Order, you may be required to appear in Court to determine new penalties for your original offence.
It is an offence to breach a condition of Bail, without a reasonable excuse. The Court may decide to cancel your Bail if the conditions are breached. If you fail to meet the conditions of your Bail, you could also face additional penalties, including being charged with an offence that has a maximum penalty of 3 months imprisonment. Failing to appear in Court whilst on Bail, without reasonable excuse, is a separate offence and carries a maximum penalty of 12 months imprisonment.
Community Corrections Order
Breaching a Community Corrections Order can lead to the offence of ‘contravention of a community correction order’ and carries a maximum penalty of 3 months imprisonment. The Court may decide to re-sentence you in relation to the original offences for which the order was imposed.
Breaching an Intervention order can lead to the offence of ‘contravention of a family violence (or personal safety) intervention order’, and can carry a maximum penalty of 2 years imprisonment or 5 years for a Persistent or Aggravated Breach.
Order to Pay Fines
Failure to comply with an order to pay a fine can result in the court ordering a warrant for your arrest in order to appear. If you do not pay your fine, it may be converted to Community Work or even a period of imprisonment.
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Leanne Warren is an accredited criminal law expert specialising in offences of breaching court orders.