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Offence to Contravene Certain Conduct Conditions

It is an offence under section 30A of the Bail Act 1977 to breach a condition or conditions of bail imposed by Police or by the Court. As the Bail Act was recently amended, it is important to comply with your bail conditions because a failure to do so may result in being remanded in certain circumstances. It is important that you list a bail variation with the Court if your personal circumstances change and you are unable to comply with a condition of your bail.
This offence is generally dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court.
 
What is the legal definition of Offence to Contravene Certain Conduct Conditions?
The Bail Act defines a ‘conduct condition’ as any bail condition imposed by a Magistrate under section 5AAA of the Bail Act.

Examples of Offence to Contravene Certain Conduct Conditions
  • Failing to attend Court when required to
  • Failing to sign in at a Police station
  • Residing at a different address than the one bailed to
  • Committing further offences while on bail
  • Failing to attend appointments
Elements of the offence
In order for this charge to be established, the prosecution must prove the following elements:

  • the accused was on bail with conduct conditions
  • the accused contravened the conduct conditions
  • the accused had no reasonable excuse for contravening the conduct conditions
Failure to prove any of the above elements beyond reasonable doubt will mean that the accused is not guilty of this offence

Legislation
The law for this charge can be found on section 30A of the Bail Act 1977.
 
Honest and reasonable mistake as to fact, factual error or a reasonable excuse (such as being in hospital) are available defences to this charge.

Questions in cases like this
  • Did you reside at the address you were bailed to?
  • Did you sign in at the Police station?
  • Did you attend Court on time?
If you have been charged with this offence, you should call us to speak with one of our experienced lawyers to discuss your options. Pleading guilty to this offence may have implications.
 

There is a maximum penalty of 30 penalty units (fine) or 3 months imprisonment for the Offence to Contravene Certain Conduct Conditions (s30A of Bail Act 1977).

Sentencing in the higher courts
There were 59 charges of Contravene a Conduct Condition of Bail section 30A(1) that were heard in the higher courts of Victoria from 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2016. Majority of these charges led to imprisonment (52.5). Other penalties imposed include Community Correction Order (23.7%), fine (13.6%), adjourned undertaking/discharge/dismissal (8.5%), and Youth Justice Centre order (1.7%).

Of the prison terms imposed, 74.2% were less than a year.1

Sentencing in the Magistrates’ Courts
In the Magistrates’ Courts of Victoria, a total of 4,396 cases (7,364 charges) of Contravene a Conduct Condition of Bail section 30A(1) were heard from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2016. Most of these cases resulted in imprisonment (49.8%) followed by Community Correction Orders (27.7%). Other sentences imposed include fine (11.1%), adjourned undertaking/discharge/dismissal (6.8%), wholly suspended sentence (1.6%), partially suspended sentence (1.5%), Youth Justice Centre Order (1.2%), and other forms of sentencing (0.4%).

Majority of the prison terms imposed were less than 3 months (40.1%) while the longest term given was more than 36 months. The latter was however seldom imposed and was, in fact, applied in only 0.6% of the cases that resulted in imprisonment.

The highest financial penalty was between $3,000 and $4,000 and this was given to 1.6% of those who were fined (aggregate). The categories most frequently imposed were “$500 < $1,000” for aggregate (33.1%) and “Less than $500” for non-aggregate (11.3%).2

Please note that suspended sentences were abolished in Victoria for all offences committed on or after 1 September 2014.3


[1] SACStat Higher Courts – Bail Act 1977 (Vic) : s 30A(1) – contravene a conduct condition of bail < https://www.sentencingcouncil.vic.gov.au/sacstat/higher_courts/HC_9008_30A_1.html >
[2] SAC Statistics – Bail Act 1977 (Vic) : s 30A(1) – contravene a conduct condition of bail < https://www.sentencingcouncil.vic.gov.au/sacstat/magistrates_court/9008_30A_1.html >
[3] Suspended Sentence | The Sentencing Advisory Council < https://www.sentencingcouncil.vic.gov.au/about-sentencing/sentencing-options-for-adults/suspended-sentence >