What happens if I breach my suspended sentence?

What happens if I breach my suspended sentence?


What is a suspended sentence?

A suspended sentence is a sentence from the court to a term of imprisonment, however suspended, on the condition that the offender be of good behavior for the term of the suspended sentence. You may be required to abide by certain other conditions including supervision from Probation and Parole, counselling and rehabilitation.

A suspended sentence is a sentence that is usually imposed for serious offences where there is no other option but a sentence of full time imprisonment. If the court decides that a jail term is the only option available, it will then decide whether that jail sentence should be suspended or not.

For more information on Section 12, and to see case studies in cases we have appeared in, click here.


How long can a suspended sentence go for?

The maximum period of a suspended sentence is 2 years. You must remain on good behavior for the period of the suspended sentence, otherwise you will be called upon to be re-sentenced by the court that originally gave you the suspended sentence.


What happens if I breach my Suspended Sentence?

If you breach your suspended sentence, by committing another offence, or by not complying with any other conditions of the Suspended Sentence, you may be called upon by the court that sentenced you to be re-sentenced. The court has a few options in this regard. It may do one of the following:

  • Take no action on the breach of Suspended Sentence, and allow the sentence to continue,
  • Revoke the bond, and re-sentence you to full time imprisonment for the entire period of the bond,
  • Revoke the bond, and re-sentence you to an Intensive Corrections Order, Home Detention or another Suspended Sentence (for a longer period usually).

For more information on the various penalties available to the court, click here.


Which court will re-sentence me if I have breached by Suspended Sentence?

The court that originally sentenced you will sentence you again if you breach your Suspended Sentence. It the further offence can be dealt with by the original sentencing court, both cases can be heard by the one court.


What happens if I commit a traffic offence whilst on a Suspended Sentence?

Generally, if you commit a traffic offence whilst you are serving a Suspended Sentence, you will not have breached the Suspended Sentence. However, if you commit a major traffic offence, such as Drink Driving, or Driving Whilst Disqualified, the court may call up your original sentence to have you re-sentenced for both the fresh offence and the original offence.


What happens if there was only a short time left on the Suspended Sentence?

Regardless of the amount of time left on the Suspended Sentence, a breach will trigger a potential jail sentence for the entire period of the suspended sentence. In other words, if you breach your suspended sentence on the 364th day of a 12 month Suspended Sentence, and the court re-sentences you to full time jail, it will be for a period of 12 months.


What do you do if you think you have breached your Suspended Sentence?

Call us immediately. We may be able to help you avoid a potential breach, and further court proceedings.

Call LY Lawyers on 1300 595 299 for a free consultation.