Community Service Orders (CSO’s)

The court may impose a community service order upon an offender, as an alternative to full time imprisonment. The maximum number of hours that a court can impose is 500. CSO’s are supervised by the Probation and Parole Service.

Community service orders are imposed as an alternative to full time imprisonment.

You must first be assessed for suitability for community service before a court can order that you do community service. You must not have any medical conditions that may preclude you from undertaking community service and be able to commit to time to perform community service.

Community service orders can be imposed for a wide variety of offences.

Here are some case studies:

 

Case Study - High Range DUI whilst on Good Behaviour Bond
Our client was before the Local Court for a high range drinking offence after having previously placed on a good behaviour bond for a mid- range driving offence only nine months earlier. Our client was also involved in a car accident as a result of this high-range drink driving.

Our client pleaded guilty at Burwood Local Court and our dedicated solicitor appeared for him, arguing for a sentence less than imprisonment.

We were able to convince Magistrate Quinn at Burwood that the offence did not reach the threshold for the imposition of a term of imprisonment due to the extenuating circumstances in this case.

Our solicitor successfully argued that a community service order would adequately punish the offender for his offending behaviour. No action was taken on the breach of the good behaviour bond and the client was sentenced to 150 hours community service rather than a term of imprisonment high range drink driving offence.

He was very lucky to escape jail for his repeat offending.

Case Study - Community Service Order instead of Imprisonment for Drink Driving
The client was before the Local Court for a high-range drinking offence after having previously been placed on a section 9 good behaviour bond for a mid-range drink driving offence only 9 months earlier.

Our client was also involved in a car accident as a result of this high-range drink driving.

Our client pled guilty at Burwood Local Court and our dedicated solicitor was able to convince the Magistrate that the offence did not reach the threshold for the imposition of a term of imprisonment due to the extenuating circumstances in this case.

Our solicitor successfully argued that a community service order would be an adequate punishment.

No action was taken on the breach of the good behaviour bond and the client was sentenced to 150 hours community service rather than a term of imprisonment for the recent driving offence.

He was very fortunate not to go to jail for his repeat offending.

Case Study - Making False Accusations
A husband and his wife, and a work colleague corroborated and reported to police an indecent assault committed by their boss on the wife, in an attempt to have the boss from the company they worked removed. Their boss was arrested.

A few days before the hearing, the boss produced fresh evidence showing that the allegation was a fabrication. The husband, wife and colleague were subsequently charged with ‘Make false accusations with intent;’ a very serious charge that carries a 7 year gaol sentence.

They contacted LY Lawyers to represent them. Our solicitor appeared before LCM Schurr at Burwood Local Court and fought hard to keep the 3 out of gaol.

We made strong submissions about their prior good character; cultural differences and that each posed a low risk of re-offending. Her Honour ultimately decided to deal with their matters by way of a Community Service Order.

Our clients were very happy with their get out of gaol free card!

Case Study - Split Lip Requiring Stitches
Our client was charged with assault occasionally actuality bodily harm. It was alleged that our client had ferociously attacked a 50 year old man in a wheelchair on the train station punching him eight times causing him to collapse and resulting in stitches to lip and head and significant bruising. Our client was also charged with common assault for spitting on the victim.

Our client denied that he had punched the victim eight times and spat on the victim. Further our client instructed our firm that he was provoked by the victim.

Our solicitor was successful in having the facts amended to reduce the eight punches down to four punches and reference to spitting was also removed. Further the facts amended to include that our client was grabbed by the victim prior to the assault. The prosecution agreed to withdraw the common assault charge.

The matter proceeded to sentence at Fairfield Local Court before Magistrate Swaine. The prosecution argued the court should consider a custodial sentence. Our solicitor argued that our client was provoked by the victim and that our client wasn’t looking for trouble. Our solicitor argued that the court could consider community service as an alternative to custody having regards to our client’s good character, remorse, good prospects of rehabilitation and strong subjective case including his partner was giving birth to their first child in two months.

Magistrate Swaine imposed a Community service order on the occasion.

This was an excellent result.

Case Study - Stolen Myer cards, appeal against jail successful
Our client was charged with 5 counts of obtaining a benefit by deception. The case was that our client purchased about $5000.00 worth of stolen Myer Gift cards from his friend, which turned out to be stolen gift cards.

Our client was busted by the Police in the act of purchasing iPads with those cards at Myer.

A recent university graduate and Masters of Business student, our client made a big mistake that he would regret for the rest of his life. He was a person of good character, who provided excellent references to advance his case for leniency to the court.

Our client was sentenced in the Downing Centre Local Court to 8 months imprisonment, to be served by way of Home Detention.

We appealed to the Sydney District Court, and appeared before Berman J at the severity appeal hearing.

After submissions that our client did not deserve a sentence of imprisonment, had prior good character, was young of age, good prospects of rehabilitation and a bright future, the Judge agreed and allowed our Appeal.

The appeal Judge sentenced our client to Community Service.

He was extremely pleased with the result.

Case Study - Glassing of Barman, escapes Jail
Heavily intoxicated, our unprovoked client threw a drink, in a glass towards a barman, the glass missed. He then threw a second drink in a glass towards the barman this hitting the bar tender in the face. The actions were caught on CCTV.

The victim suffered a cut to the lip which required six surgical sutures. The victim received emergency dental work and will have to have the tooth removed.

Charges of this type are often taken up to the District Court where there is a Standard Non Parole Period of four years Gaol. Our lawyers kept the offence in the Local Court jurisdiction – a plea of guilt was entered. In Court our lawyer submitted on the nature of the offence, the injuries sustained the history and character of the offender and other matters unique to the case.

The Magistrate dealt with the offence by recording a conviction and ordering our client to do 150 hours of unpaid work in the community.

Case Study -1kg of marijuana + other offences- Community services order

Our client is a 50-year-old male. He was charged with multiple offences that
carry significant terms of imprisonment. The offences ranged from
trafficking, possession, cultivate and use a drug of dependence, namely Cannabis. He was also charged with dealing with property reasonably suspected of being proceeds of crime.

The local Police had seized almost 1 kg of cannabis at our client’s place of residence. Our client was facing the prospects of a length term of imprisonment.

Our legal team comprised of an experienced barrister in drug matters and an experienced solicitor. Both worked vigorously to negotiate the facts with the prosecution and to prepare the best case for the client. Subjective materials including reference letters, psychologist report, medical reports and a sworn statement were prepared to assist the client’s case.

Submissions were made regarding the client’s long-term substance abuse of cannabis due to a permanent injury sustained as a young adult. Medical documents and a psychologist report were tendered to highlight to the sentencing Magistrate the extent of the client’s addiction.

The client also voluntarily admitted himself into a rehabilitation facility to assist him with his addiction problems. He is continuing with this rehabilitation center.

The sentencing Magistrate took into consideration our client’s remorse, good prospects of rehabilitation and his extensive medical conditions. The Prosecutor made submissions and was asking for full time custody. The Magistrate accepted our submissions and did not impose a full time jail sentence.
[jcol/] The sentencing Magistrate convicted our client of three of the five
offences. For the offences of trafficking, cultivate a drug of dependence, and dealing with property reasonably suspected of being proceeds of crime, our client was given a Community Corrections Order for a period of 12 months. Conditions of the order require the client to complete of 200 hours of unpaid community work in 12 months; undergo assessment and treatment for drug abuse or dependence; and undergo medical assessment and treatment as directed.

The sentencing Magistrate found the offences of possession and use of a drug of dependence proven, but exercised his discretion and did not impose a conviction.

The client had expected full time jail, but was ecstatic to have avoided full
time jail. This was an amazing result given the amount of drugs seized and the scale of the trafficking not being minor.

Case Study - 8cm wound to victim, escapes jail
Our client was charged with reckless wounding. It was alleged that our client had launched a can at the head of the victim who was an undercover police officer causing a 8cm wound to the head of the victim.

This charge carries a maximum penalty of seven years and judicial statistics indicate that 69% of those convicted of this offence receive a term of imprisonment.

Our solicitor successfully argued that a term of imprisonment was not warranted in this matter having regards to our clients prior good character and remorse and a finding that our client was provoked.

Magistrate Still at Newtown local court imposed a 250 hour community service order as an alternative to a term of imprisonment.
Case Study - Kneeing Victim in head whilst he was on the ground- From full-time jail to 100 hours CSO, lengthy criminal record of violence

Our client was self-represented in the Local Court and pleaded guilty to affray without properly instructing a lawyer.

On the day which his case was listed for sentence Chief Magistrate Henson told our client that he would without any doubt be going to jail and he should get a lawyer quickly.

Our client had lost his job as a result of the criminal proceedings and was now facing prison.

The charges were very serious and included a fight where our client kneed the victim 3 times in the head whilst he was on the floor, splitting the victim’s head open.
[jcol/] Our solicitor prepared our client for sentencing and ensured that the case was expertly prepared, presented and argued.

Our client was sentenced before Her Honour Magistrate Gilmore at the Downing Centre Local Court in April 2015. Her Honour took into account the fact that he had previously been convicted of violent offences but that he was someone who was very remorseful and capable of changing his ways for the better.

He was sentenced to 100 hours of community service. This was an excellent result for our client.

He was very relieved that he was not going to jail.