What happens if I don’t complete my Community Service?

What happens if I don’t complete my community service?


What is a community service order?

Community service orders are handed our by our courts as an alternative to full time jail.

Before you are ordered to undertake Community Service, you will be assessed by Probation and Parole, to determine your suitability. If you are assessed as suitable, your case will be returned to court for sentencing. The court will then determine how many hours of community service it requires you to undertake as part of your sentence.

The maximum number of hours the court can impose is 500 hours.

For more information on Community Service Orders, and to see case studies in other cases where our clients were sentenced to Community Service, click here.


What should I do if I get sick or cannot attend Community Service?

If you, for whatever reason, cannot attend community service you must contact your probation officer immediately. Just be honest with them. Quite often they may require a medical certificate or some other documentation confirming your urgent reason for not attending community service. They will generally give you a few chances before considering any action or breach proceedings, but it is important that you remain in contact with them as often as possible when you cannot attend for any reason.


What happens if I fail to attend Community Service without a reasonable excuse?

If you repeatedly fail to attend Community Service, Probation and Parole will make an application to court for a revocation of your Community Service Order. They will state their reasons for revocation in a report that is provided to the court in your breach proceedings. You will be summonsed to attend court for those proceedings. You are required to attend court for those proceedings. The court will not deal with it in your absence.


What will the court do in Breach of CSO proceedings?

The court in breach of CSO proceedings can do the following:

  1. Order that you make another attempt to complete your Community Service,
  2. Revoke the Community Service Order and re-sentence you to alternatives to full time jail (for eg. Home Detention, Intensive Corrections Order, Suspended Sentence)
  3. Sentence you to a term of full time imprisonment,
  4. Sentence you to a further Community Service Order,
  5. Take no action on the breach.

For more information on the different types of penalties available to the court, click here.


Do I need a lawyer for Breach of CSO proceedings?

Yes definitely.

Breaching your Community Service Order is serious. The court will generally look towards imposing a harsher penalty if you have breached your CSO. It is very important that you contact a Specialist Criminal Lawyer immediately if you feel that your CSO is about to be revoked, or that you have been informed that you are required to attend court for Breach of CSO proceedings.

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