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If a court imposes a sentence of imprisonment of less than 18 months, it may direct that that sentence is served by way of home detention. An offender who is sentenced to home detention will be closely monitored by Corrective Services. In certain circumstances you may be allowed to leave your home for work or medical reasons whilst serving your Home Detention order.

In order be sentenced to home detention, you must first be assessed by Correction Services and determined to be suitable.

Your case will then come back to court for the court to order that you complete a your term of home detention.

Can I go to work if I am sentenced to home detention?

In most circumstances, Correction services will allow you out of your home for work or study. You will also be allowed from time to time to attend personal family occasions with prior permission from your Corrective Services officer.

What happens if I breach my home detention order?

It is important that you abide by all the conditions of your home detention order, Corrective Services will determine whether breach of home detention proceedings will be brought before the court.

You may then be required to serve the balance of your sentence in custody.

Our client was a 37 year old man charged with 33 counts of ‘Obtain Benefit by Deception’ more commonly known as fraud. His employers alleged that he claimed fraudulent overtime over a period of 4 years, amounting to fraud in excess of $65 000.

In 2005, our client was convicted of 8 counts of ‘Obtain Benefit by Deception,’ for which he received 100 hours community service. It was always going to be an uphill battle to keep our client out of prison.

Over a period of almost 4 months, our lawyer negotiated with police and reduced the number of charges from 33 to 2. She then appeared before Chief Magistrate Henson and made extensive submissions that the fraud was committed out of ‘need not greed,’ that our client was facing bankruptcy and that the community would not be served by a sentence of full-time imprisonment as it would not allow our client to repay what he owed.

His Honour took the lunch time adjournment to consider non-custodial alternatives. After returning from the lunch adjournment, other solicitors at the bar table were making bets about how long our client would go to prison for.

The consensus was 12-15 months. His Honour returned to the bench and gave a lengthy judgment, specifically stating, ‘A term of imprisonment is the only option. I was impressed with the fine submissions and will do what you ask and put the matter over for a Home Detention assessment.’

Ultimately, our client was found suitable for Home Detention. He was tremendously relieved that we had kept him out of jail.