Breaching County Court CCO

This is a case study on breaching a County Court CCO involving an accused with exceptional and compassionate circumstances.

What is alleged to have occured?
Our client had a very long criminal history comprising mainly of driving offences. He received a prison sentence for new driving charges in the Magistrates Court and appealed to the County Court. This appeal was granted, and he received a 2-year Community Corrections Order (CCO) with 200 hours of community work.

The client did not complete this CCO due to drug addiction and family issues. A charge of Contravening the CCO was filed. He then approached our firm and asked for assistance. He knew that he was facing a possible jail time because he had breached his CCO.

What happened at court?
The case was heard at the Melbourne County Court and we provided legal representation for the client. The other charges were:

We prepared the client’s breach hearing. We recognised immediately that even though this is a case of breaching a County Court CCO, the accused involved is highly vulnerable and that this needed to be conveyed to the judge. Since his CCO had expired, our client had been severely electrocuted. This electrocution resulted in amputation of both lower limbs and extensive nerve damage. The client also had a cognitive impairment.

Medical materials were put together and we researched the client’s background as well. We discovered further compassionate circumstances – namely, the client’s separation from his partner and the death of his mother.

Next, we appeared for the client at court and put together powerful written submissions which highlighted the client’s exceptional circumstances. The attention to detail we employed on writing the submissions enabled the judge to fully understand the client’s difficult background and his current suffering.

We then advocated for the client in court, and explained why the client would suffer in jail and would not be able to do any further work hours.

What was the result?
The judge accepted these submissions and cancelled the client’s CCO. No further order was made.

This was an extraordinary result for our client, as people are usually sent to jail for breaching a County Court CCO. Instead, our client was finished with the criminal justice system and could start his life again. He was grateful that his lawyers listened to him, prepared his matter carefully and powerfully advocated for him in court.

Elements of Contravening CCO:
  • The accused was subject to a Community Corrections Order;
  • The accused contravened the order; and
  • The accused had no reasonable excuse for contravening 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 06/08/2019