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Offence to Commit an Indictable Offence Whilst on Bail

– section 30B of the Bail Act 1977

It is an offence under section 30B of the Bail Act to commit an indictable offence whilst on bail. It is important not to commit an indictable offence whilst on bail as this may place you in “exceptional circumstances” when trying to convince a bail decision maker to be granted bail.
This offence is usually dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court.
 
What is the legal definition of Offence to Commit an Indictable Offence Whilst on Bail?
An indictable offence is a serious offence which attracts a penalty of more than 2 years in gaol. These offences can be found in the Crimes Act.

  • Being charged with armed robbery while on bail for other offences
  • Being charged with trafficking while on bail for other offences
  • Being charged with theft while on bail for other offences
Elements of the offence
To be found guilty of this offence, the prosecution must prove that the accused was on bail and that the accused committed an indictable offence during such time. These two (2) elements need to be established beyond reasonable doubt.

Legislation
This offence is governed by section 30B of the Bail Act 1977.
Examples of Offence to Commit an Indictable Offence Whilst on Bail

 
Factual error and impossibility are defences to a charge of committing an indictable offence whilst on bail.

Questions in cases like this
  • Were you on bail at the relevant time?
  • Did you commit an indictable offence?
  • What evidence do the Police to support the indictable offences?
If you have been charged with this offence, you should call us to speak with one of our experienced lawyers about your matter. Pleading guilty to this offence can have serious implications.
 
The maximum penalty for this charge is a fine of 30 penalty units or imprisonment for 3 months.
 
Sentencing in the higher courts
From 1 July 2011 to 30 June 2016, there were 130 charges of the Offence to Commit an Indictable Offence Whilst on Bail that were heard in Victorian higher courts. These charges resulted in the following sentences:

  • Imprisonment – 68.5%
  • Community Correction Order – 11.5%
  • Youth Justice Centre Order – 9.2%
  • Fine – 6.2%
  • Adjourned Undertaking/Discharge/Dismissal – 4.6%
Of the prison terms imposed, 74.2% were less than a year which constitute 89 charges.1

Sentencing in the Magistrates’ Courts
In the Magistrates’ Courts, 7,890 cases (11,880 charges) of the Offence to Commit an Indictable Offence Whilst on Bail were heard from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2016. These cases resulted in the following sentences:

  • Imprisonment – 51.1%
  • Community Correction Order – 28.6%
  • Fine – 9.6%
  • Adjourned Undertaking/Discharge/Dismissal – 5.8%
  • Wholly Suspended Sentence – 1.8%
  • Youth Justice Centre Order – 1.2%
  • Partially Suspended Sentence – 1.1%
  • Other – 0.8%
Of the prison terms imposed, 36.8% comprised the most frequently imposed term which is less than 3 months. The longest term was the least frequently imposed: 36+ months (0.4%).

The highest fine imposed was in the “$500 < $1,000” category at 32.7% of those who were fined (aggregate). For non-aggregate, the most frequently imposed fine fell under the “Less than $500” category (5.2%).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 30B – commit an indictable offence while on bail < https://www.sentencingcouncil.vic.gov.au/sacstat/higher_courts/HC_9008_30B.html >
[2] SAC Statistics – Bail Act 1977 (Vic) : s 30B – commit an indictable offence while on bail < https://www.sentencingcouncil.vic.gov.au/sacstat/magistrates_court/9008_30B.html >
[3] Suspended Sentence | The Sentencing Advisory Council < https://www.sentencingcouncil.vic.gov.au/about-sentencing/sentencing-options-for-adults/suspended-sentence >