Breach CCO Resulting in a Fine

This is a case study on charges of Breach CCO resulting in a fine.

CCOs were introduced as a sentencing option in 2014 to replace Community Based Orders (CBOs). This was done because CBOs and other community-based sentencing dispositions did not provide court with ‘sufficient flexibility to directly target the offender and the offence’ (see the Second Reading Speech). It was intended that CCOs would introduce a ‘single comprehensive and highly flexible order’ (Second Reading Speech). Although CCOs are sentences served in the community, they are designed to have a punitive element through unpaid community work and supervision, and a therapeutic component through drug counselling and treatment and mental health treatment.

The Court of Appeal explained that CCOs would be used in place of sentences that would otherwise attract a prison sentence. CCOs are by no means a “get out of gaol free card”. People on CCOs are only in the community on the condition that they obey the conditions. By failing to comply with a CCO or by breaching it with a further offending places a person at risk of receiving a prison sentence.

What is alleged to have occured?
Our client was charged with breaching two Community Correction Orders (CCOs) by not engaging and not completing any of the unpaid work hours. He was originally placed on the CCOs for driving and theft matters and he had a long history of offending, mainly driving offences.

What happened at court?
We acted on the client’s behalf at the Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court. We successfully defended the client against the charges of Breach CCO which ultimately resulted in a fine.

The major hurdle which we had to overcome with the plea was to convince the magistrate not to sentence the client to gaol even though he breached two CCOs and failed to pay fines in the past. As expected, the magistrate had warned before the plea commenced that he had no other option but to send the client to gaol.

However prior to the plea hearing, we gathered medical material evidencing the client’s poor health. These documents were intended to support submissions to the court about how sending the client to gaol would be especially onerous.

What was the result?
After hearing the plea submissions, the magistrate agreed to order that the client pay a modest fine instead of being sent to gaol or getting him placed on another CCO.

Charges of Breach CCO resulting in a fine is an excellent outcome especially given the circumstances of the case. The fines were also referred to Fines Victoria which the client can contact should he need a payment plan organised.

Elements of Breach CCO:
  • The accused is subject to a Community Correction Order;
  • The accused breached the order; and
  • The accused had no reasonable excuse for breaching the order.
Related case studies
DISCLAIMER: This is a real case study of an actual case from our files. Details pertaining to the client have been changed to protect their privacy. The sentence imposed and the charge have not been altered. These case studies are published to demonstrate real outcomes and give an indication of possible tariffs in Court. We do not guarantee a similar case on these charges will get the same result. Please note that we post results at our discretion, therefore while many case studies are average results, others are notable for their exceptional outcomes. PUBLISHED 29/10/2018