No more “Section 10”
On 24 September 2018 sweeping changes were introduced to sentencing laws in New South Wales. As a result of this, the much sought after ‘Section 10’ has been replaced. It will now be known as a Conditional Release Order or CRO.
Summary of CROs
Conditional Release Orders or CROs have the practical effect of replacing both Section 10 and section 9 bonds, as they were under the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999.
The new Conditional Release Orders are found in Section 9 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999.
- CROs replace the old s10(1)(b) – Bonds to be of good behaviour
- CROs can come with or without conviction
- CROs cannot be made for a period exceeding 2 years
- CROs cannot be made without you being at court
- CROs can be made without there needing to be a pre-sentence report or assessment report
- You can still get a s10(1)(a) – an unconditional dismissal of the charges
- You cannot receive both a fine and a CRO – they are direct alternatives
All CROs, regardless of whether you are convicted or not will come with conditions.
Possible Conditions attached to a CRO
All CROs will have the two standard and mandatory conditions:
- That the offender must not commit any offence; and
- That the offender must appear before the court if called on to do so at any time during the termof the conditional release order.
CROs without convictions are effectively the same as s10(1)(b) bonds.
The court can also add any additional or further conditions as they see fit. Additional conditions can include things like:
- To participate in rehabilitation or treatment
- To abstain from alcohol or drugs, or both
- Supervision by community corrections
- Non-association conditions
- Place restrictions, such as not attending certain suburbs or particular places
These conditions are able to be put in place for a period of time as the court sees fit, and this does not have to be the same length of time as the CRO itself.
There are some conditions that cannot be imposed with a CRO, including home detention and community service.
What if I’m on a section 10 bond now?
If you are currently on a Section 10 bond it will automatically convert to a CRO and you will not have to do anything, other than continue to not breach it. If you do breach your bond, it can be called up and you may need to appear before the court.
How do I get a CRO?
Being prepared for, and attending court is always recommended. The court will consider matters such as:
- Your character, antecedents, age, health and mental condition
- Whether the offence is of a trivial nature
- The extenuating circumstances in which the offence was committed
- Any other matter that the court thinks proper to consider
Much like a Section 10, a CRO won’t be appropriate in all cases. Firstly you need to make sure that you attend court and don’t fill in a written notice of pleading handed to you by the police. For example, if you’re facing a drink driving charge the guideline judgment for high range PCA will continue to apply. If you’re facing criminal or traffic charges you should seek advice from a specialist criminal and traffic lawyer. At Marsh Blom Lawyers we have the experience and knowledge to ensure that you get the best outcome at court.