Theft, Assault, and Robbery Charges – Imprisonment (already served) and Community Corrections Order

Our client struggled with a long term Heroin addiction. He had managed to remain offence- and drug-free for a number of years until the death of his mother. He relapsed into Heroin use and then checked himself into a residential rehabilitation unit. In the unit, he met another addict and offered for this other man to reside with him upon their release from rehab.

What is alleged to have occured?
The two dragged each other back into Heroin use and then committed a series of handbag snatch robberies together. Each was then remanded in custody. Our client faced 15 different charges. These include:

  • Robbery
  • Unlawful assault
  • Attempted robbery

What happened at court?
We acted for the client at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court and made a bail application after he had spent a few weeks in custody to become free of drugs. Support services for drug and alcohol counselling were organised through the Court Integrated Services Program. Bail was refused and our client remained in custody. The presiding Magistrate considered that our client was an unacceptable risk of committing further offences.

We negotiated with the Prosecutors and investigating Police officer indicating that our client would plead to some of the charges without requiring further investigation. Many charges were withdrawn as part of the negotiated plea deal. The co-accused had pleaded guilty to charges in front of a very compassionate and fair Magistrate. That matter was part heard and had been adjourned to a future date. We arranged for our client’s case to be heard on the future date before the same Magistrate.

After three months in custody, our client pleaded guilty to seven charges. On the plea it was submitted that he had reasonably good prospects of rehabilitation. He had remained offence-free for long periods in the past, had stable accommodation that he owned as a result of his inheritance following his mother’s passing, and had strong support from his siblings (his sister controlled his finances to ensure that his money was not spent on drugs).

What was the result?
Our client was sentenced to 3 months imprisonment (a period he had already served) and an 18-month Community Corrections Order with 150 hours of community work to be completed along with supervisory and rehabilitative aspects of the order. The ultimate outcome was that our client was released from prison and provided with supervision and support for 18 months in dealing with his heroin addiction.

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 25/02/2013