This week Mikaela appeared for a client who had been charged with Break, Enter and Commit Serious Indictable Offence which has a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment, as well as a charge of destroy property, a maximum penalty of 5 years imprisonment.
Mikaela’s client was 18 years old and suffering from mental illness at the time of the offence, he was also substantially intoxicated. However since the offence, he had undergone steps of rehabilitation including counselling and alcohol treatment. Evidence was tendered proving he had changed his behaviour.
Despite the seriousness of the offence and the maximum penalties, Mikaela was able to successfully argue that her client should not have a conviction recorded. This was because of his age, prior good character, his mental illness, the steps of rehabilitation, and the impact of a conviction on his career.
As a result of her submissions, Mikaela’s client was given a second chance and placed on a section 10 bond, which means he did not have a criminal conviction recorded against him.
Cases such as these highlight the importance of putting evidence of rehabilitation before the court. Remorse and rehabilitation are key aspects considered by the court on sentence. It shows the court you have changed behaviour and are therefore unlikely to re-offend.
Rehabilitation is not just relevant to those suffering from mental illness, it addresses the element of the offending, whether it is alcohol, driving, drugs or aggressive behaviour.
If you are charged with an offence and wish to discuss this further, please feel free to contact our team on (02) 9025 9888.