Theft, Burglary – Adjourned Undertaking

Our client had been charged with a number of serious offences including burglary, theft, and possessing an unregistered firearm. There were further offences which we were able to negotiate with the Prosecution and which ultimately did not proceed.

What’s interesting about this case is that the offences had occurred in 2006 and 2007. Our client had entered pleas at the Sunshine Magistrates’ Court in relation to these offences in early 2008, and then had left the jurisdiction. He had gone interstate to live with his mother who was a drug and alcohol counsellor. He was able to remove himself from the influences which had been controlling his life in Melbourne and was able to move on and get clean. He had returned to Victoria in early 2009, went back to the same accommodation, and continued on with his life. In the intervening years, he had started a family, opened his own business, and remained clean from ice.

We represented the client at the Sunshine Magistrates’ Court. He was eventually sentenced to an adjourned undertaking with conviction, a penalty that was at the bottom of the sentencing scale.

Although the offences were serious and our client had prior criminal history in Victoria, where he had been subject to orders which were further up the sentencing scale including jail, we were able to make submissions that his life had materially changed since the time when the offences were committed. It was explained to the Court that initially, he had run from the jurisdiction and gone interstate because he was afraid of the outcome of Court, but more importantly, because he knew that if he stayed and continued to abuse drugs, he would continue to go down this path and would eventually be placed in custody.

He came back to Melbourne when he was clean and moved back to the house that he was living in before he left. Although he did not seek out the police to find out what had happened with these matters, he was not actively avoiding them either when he came back to Melbourne. He continued to register his vehicles with VicRoads and his license had his current address. It was two months ago when he was driving his truck for work purposes that he went through a random breath testing station and police flagged the warrants and had the matters re-listed. He had not been in trouble with the Police since returning to Melbourne and had not committed any further offences. This is because his offending was so intertwined with his drug addiction that when it was properly addressed, the offending ceased. He had completely changed his life and had become a contributing member of our community. His mother wrote an extensive letter to the Court about what had occurred in 2009 and how he had been able to tame his addiction.

The Court ultimately accepted these submission and took the unusual step of placing our client on an adjourned undertaking with conviction.


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