Deferring a Sentence for Dishonesty Offences

This is a case that involves deferring a sentence for dishonesty offences.

What is alleged to have occured?
Our client was from the Northern suburbs of Melbourne and had over 25 charges before the courts. Her briefs consisted of predominately drug or dishonesty offences including Theft, Obtain Property By Deception, and Handle Stolen Goods. She was also in breach of a 12-month Community Corrections order for older and equally serious matters.

Due to the nature of her offending, she was at a very high risk of serving a term of imprisonment. Significantly for our client, her matters were old as she had absconded from Victoria for a period of time. A couple of years ago she did not show up for court and left the state. This had resulted in warrants being issued for her arrest.

What happened at court?
We represented the client at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on the following charges:

We recommended that our client engage with a demanding and lengthy list of courses and counselling. This included regular drug and alcohol counselling as well as providing clear urine results. Evidence of these efforts are often provided to demonstrate one’s commitment to rehabilitation.

Guilty pleas were then entered at court. However, we still did not have enough plea material to be confident that our client would avoid jail. Hence we asked for the matter to be deferred for sentence in order for our client to engage in an extensive period of counselling and rehabilitative efforts. We also sought for a pre-sentence report to be conducted by Corrections and provided this to the court.

Luckily for our client, there was enough time to get many sessions and courses completed. We made submissions towards our client’s significant independent attempts to rehabilitate and this was taken into consideration when she was sentenced.

What was the result?
Ultimately, our client was sentenced to another 12-month Community Corrections Order.

This was was an exceptionally good result. By deferring a sentence for dishonesty offences, our client had taken our advice seriously and was given a chance to make evidence and significant attempts to get involved with drug and alcohol counselling, as well as provide urine samples. For matters where there are obvious signs of serious drug misuse, the court’s biggest considerations are to get offenders rehabilitated. If clients are able to demonstrate their commitment to intervention before sentencing, then they have a much better chance of avoiding serving terms of imprisonment.
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 09/02/2018