What happens when I breach a Conditional Release Order

Posted by janelle.tarabay on 17 October 2018

When a person is sentenced to a Conditional Release Order, a formal “promise” is made to the court that an offender will abide by the conditions of the Order. The Order can be imposed for a period of up to two years.

It is a standard condition of a Conditional Release Order that an offender must not commit any further offences for the duration of the Order, and the offender must appear before a court if called upon to do so.

Additional conditions can also be imposed, which include:

  1. A condition requiring the offender to participate in a rehabilitation program or to receive treatment,
  2. A condition requiring abstention from alcohol and/or drugs,
  3. A non-association condition,
  4. A place restriction condition,
  5. A supervision condition by a Community Corrections Officer, and/or
  6. Any other condition that the court considers appropriate.

A person will be in breach of a Conditional Release Order if they are charged with committing a further offence, or detected for failing to comply with an additional condition, while the Order is in place.

If a Court believes a breach has occurred, then the court can call upon the offender to appear before the Court. If the offender fails to appear at Court on the specified date, then a warrant can be issued for the person’s arrest. It is therefore imperative that a Court registry is notified of any change in residential address during the period that the Conditional Release Order is in place.

What will happen in Court?

In dealing with the breach, the Court can make one of the following decisions:

  1. Take no action on the breach; or
  2. Vary or revoke any of the additional conditions, or impose further additional conditions; or
  3. Revoke the order and resentence the offender.

Before deciding which action to take, the court may order a Sentence Assessment Report.

If the Conditional Release Order is revoked, the court may resentence the offender and impose a more serious sentence, such as a Community Corrections Order, Intensive Corrections Order, or Full Time Custody. For more information, see our Sentencing Options page.

Alternatively, the court may resentence the offender to another Conditional Release Order, with varied or further additional conditions. If the Conditional Release Order was initially imposed without recording a conviction, a conviction will likely be recorded when the offender is resentenced as a result of a breach.

If you believe you may have breached your Conditional Release Order, contact one of our criminal lawyers for advice and a free initial consultation on (02) 9025 9888.