Without Conviction for Fail to Comply With Reporting Obligations

Hand Holding a Computer MouseThis is a case study on a a sentence of fine without conviction for Fail to Comply With Reporting Obligations.

Our client was a registered offender under the Sex Offenders Registration Act 2004. He was charged with 10 separate breaches of his reporting obligations. These breaches involved failing to report online accounts or changes to usernames of online accounts. For instance, he changed his Facebook name by adding a nickname in brackets, and he forgot to report an old Skype account that he hadn’t used in years.

We provided legal representation for the client at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court. The exact charge was Failed to Comply With Reporting Obligations.

The matter was discussed with the client and he was asked if what was important to him. The client wanted to avoid a conviction and hoped to have some charges withdrawn. We case conferenced the matter with the prosecution, which offered to ‘roll up’ the charges into one charge. The benefit of this would be that only one charge would come up on the client’s criminal record. The client agreed to this course of action.

It must be noted that for this case, we successfully secured a sentence of fine without conviction for Fail to Comply With Reporting Obligations.

Next, we conducted a plea in mitigation for the client and highlighted the fact that:

  1. The breaches were inadvertent, not calculated. The client worked with technology and it was challenging for him to remember to report every single change to every single account.
  2. Many of the accounts were inactive.
  3. The changes to the usernames were minor, and the police could still find the offender’s account if they searched his username on social media
  4. There were no sinister overtones to these breaches – for instance, they did not involve child contact
  5. Aside from these breaches, the client had always complied with his reporting obligations
  6. The client had been assessed by a psychologist as being low risk of reoffending (and the purpose of reporting obligations is to mitigate the risk an offender will reoffend)
  7. The client had a strong support network (we tendered character references from family to emphasise this)

The magistrate initially viewed the offending as quite serious, but changed her mind after hearing these submissions. She imposed a fine without conviction.

This was a fantastic result for our client as it indicated that the court took his mitigating circumstances into account, and imposed a relatively light penalty: a fine without conviction for Fail to Comply With Reporting Obligations.

Elements of Fail to Comply With Reporting Obligations:

  • The accused is a registrable sex offender; and
  • The accused failed to comply with any of the registrable offender’s reporting obligations (other than reporting obligations in respect of details to which section 14 of the Sex Offender Registration Act applies); or
  • The accused failed to comply with any of the registrable offender’s reporting obligations in respect of details to which section 14(1)(d), (da), (db), (dc), (dd), (e), (ea), (f), (g), (j), (k) or (m) of the Sex Offender Registration Act applies); or
  • The accused failed to comply with any of the registrable offender’s reporting obligations in respect of details to which section 14(1)(a), (b), (c), (h), (i) or (l) of the Sex Offender Registration Act applies; and
  • The accused had no reasonable excuse for the non-compliance.

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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 29/04/2019