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Bail is the term used to refer to the temporary release from custody of an accused person awaiting their sentence by the Court.

1. Bail Undertaking

When a person is granted bail, that person enters into a bail undertaking. They are entitled to be released (if in custody) and remain at liberty. A person granted bail is to undertake in writing to appear before the court as notified and to notify the court of any change in the person’s residential address. A person is entitled to be granted bail so long as the person is not in custody for some other offence. Additionally, a person can be granted bail when not in custody.

2. Bail Hearing

All persons in custody will appear by way of audio-visual link.There are interpreters available for persons with English as a second language or who are hearing impaired. The weekend and public holiday bail courts for both adults and juveniles are conducted at Parramatta Local Court. This court will deal with adult bail hearings for all persons arrested in the Sydney metropolitan area and juvenile bail hearings from across the state.

3. Who Can Grant Bail

The Local Court usually determines bail for summary offences. More senior courts often deal with indictable offences. A police officer can grant bail provided the court hasn’t already made a determination. If not authorised to grant bail the Officer will bring the person before the court. After an officer makes a determination as to bail they must inform the person that they may communicate with a legal practitioner and provide them with such facilities to do so as are reasonable in the circumstances.

4. Refusal to Hear a Bail Application

A court will refuse to hear a further application if bail has already been determined unless:
• The person was not legally represented and now has legal representation
• Information relevant to bail was not presented in the previous application
• Circumstances relevant to the grant of bail have changed

5. Dispensing with Bail

A court may dispense with bail, meaning the person is to remain at liberty until required to appear before court. Where the court in respect of bail makes no specific order or direction, the court shall be deemed to have dispensed with the requirements for bail.

6. Bail for Offences Not Punishable by Imprisonment

There is a right to be released on bail for minor offences, i.e. not punishable by imprisonment, unless a person:
• Has previously failed to comply with a bail undertaking or bail conditions imposed
• Is incapacitated by intoxication, injury, drug abuse or is otherwise in danger of physical injury or in need of physical protection
• Stands convicted of the offence or the person’s conviction for the offence is stayed

7. Presumptions Against Bail

A person accused of one of these offences is not to be granted bail unless the person satisfies the court that bail should not be refused. Bail cannot be dispensed with for any of the following offences:
• Certain offences under the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act
• Serious Firearms and weapons offences
• Certain repeat property offences, where the person is accused of two (2) or more serious property offences, not being offences arising out of the same circumstances and the person has been convicted of one or more serious property offences within the last two (2) years
• Offences carrying prison terms where the person is on lifetime parole
• Breach of extended supervision orders or interim supervision orders

8. Exceptions to Presumptions in Favour of Bail

There is a general presumption in favour of bail except for the following offences, where bail will generally not be granted except in extraordinary circumstances:
• Murder or Manslaughter
• Attempted Murder
• Aggravated Sexual Assault
• Kidnapping
• Robbery
• Supplying prohibited drugs on an ongoing basis
• Certain offences under the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act where the quantity concerned is alleged to be twice the indictable quantity
• Certain domestic violence offences
• Offenders who have a prior conviction for one of the above offen

There is an exception to the presumption in favour of bail if the person is alleged to have committed an offence while:
• On bail
• On parole
• In custody
• Serving a sentence but not in custody
• Was subject to a good behaviour bond or program intervention orderA person accused of one of the above offences is entitled to be granted bail unless the court, following consideration of the matter, feels justified in refusing bail.

A person is not entitled to be granted bail if the person in custody is serving a sentence of imprisonment in connection with another offence and the court is satisfied that the person is likely to remain in custody in connection with that other offence for a longer period than that for which bail in connection with the later offence would be granted.

9. Criteria to be Considered When Determining Bail

There are four distinct criteria to be considered in bail applications:
1. The probability of whether or not the person will appear in court in respect of the offence having regard to:
• The person’s background and community ties, as indicated by the history and details of the person’s residence, employment and family situations and the person’s prior criminal record
• Any previous failure to appear in court
• The circumstances of the offence, the strength of the evidence and severity of the probable penalty

2. The interests of the person having regard to:
• The period the person may be obliged to spend in custody if bail is refused
• The needs of the person to be free to prepare for appearance in court
• Whether or not the person is incapacitated by intoxication, injury or drug abuse or is otherwise in danger of physical injury or in need of physical protection
• If the person is under 18 years of age, or is an Aboriginal person or Torres Strait Islander, or has an intellectual disability or is mentally ill

3. The protection and welfare of the community having regard to
• The nature and seriousness of the offence
• Where the person has refused to observe a previous bail condition

4. Whether or not the person is likely to commit one or more serious offences while on bail

10. Conditions of Bail

A person is entitled to bail either unconditionally or subject to bail conditions.
Possible conditions of bail includeThat the accused enter into an agreement to observe specified requirements as to conduct
• That the accused or an acceptable person enter an agreement to forfeit a specified amount of money if the accused person fails to comply with their bail undertaking. The court may revoke bail if it appears the security is no longer intac
• That the accused surrender their passport
• That the accused undergo assessment for participation in an intervention program or other program for treatment or rehabilitation
• The accused enters into an agreement prohibiting him from associating with specified persons
• The accused enters into an agreement restricting him from visiting a specified place or district

Potential conditions of bail include:
• Not driving a motor vehicle
• Not drinking alcoho
• Curfew

11. Review of Bail

Magistrates have the power to review bail decisions. If refused a person may apply to a higher court for review of a bail condition. Senior Police Officers have the power to review and grant bail if:
• The accused is no longer incapacitated by intoxication, injury, drug abuse and no longer needs protection
• There is a significant change in circumstances
• There are exceptional circumstances justifying bail

12. Breaching Bail

It is an offence to fail without reasonable excuse to appear before court in accordance with a bail undertaking. It is an arrestable offence to abscond on bail or breach a bail condition. Under such circumstances:
• A police officer may arrest a person without a warrant
• The Court may issue a warrant
• Court may revoke bail.

How can Sydney Criminal Defence Lawyers help?

Our Criminal Lawyers will carefully consider your case, advise you on all your legal options, and recommend the best way forward.

Call us now on 02 8059 7121 or contact us after hours on 0420 998 650 or text 24hrs to book an appointment with one of our solicitors.

The initial consultation is free.


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Sentencing refers to the process of judgement undertaken by the courts when the accused is found guilty of, or pleads guilty to, their charge. Pleading refers to the declaration or denial of guilt by the accused in relation to their charge.


1. Sentencing Discount

A sentencing discount is a reduction in the otherwise appropriate sentence by a quantifiable amount due to a guilty plea. It is applied after the appropriate sentence has been determined [R v Borkowski at 32].

The discount should generally be assessed in the range of 10-25%. The primary consideration is the timing of the plea [R v Thomson & Houlton at 419].

It is at the Court’s discretion whether to impose a lesser penalty and they may not always do so. The sentence must not be unreasonably disproportionate to the nature and circumstances of the offence.

Guilty and not guilty pleas are discussed in more detail in the pleadings section.

2. Procedure

A judge may order that an accused person who is committed for trial or sentence be committed to a correctional centre or place of security or otherwise brought before a court at a time and place specified if the accused has been granted bail [Criminal Procedure Act 1986, s109].

A Magistrate may at any time order the issue of an arrest warrant for an accused person [CPA s109].

A pre-sentence report may be obtained prior to hearing, however it is not compulsory. The report is prepared by a government agency, usually the Probation and Parole Service, which outlines the alternatives available to an offender other than imprisonment.

3. Imprisonment

A court must not sentence an offender to imprisonment unless it is satisfied, having considered all possible alternatives, that no penalty other than imprisonment is appropriate [Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999, s5].

The Court will set a non-parole period, unless the term of imprisonment is under six months [CSPA s44]. The Court may decline to set a non-parole period given the nature of the offence or previous convictions [CSPA s45].

When a court imposes a sentence of imprisonment on an offender for more than one offence the court must impose a separate sentence in relation to each offence, unless imposing an aggregate sentence of imprisonment [CSPA s53].

Sentences can either be served consecutively or concurrently [CSPA s55].

4. Intensive Corrections Orders

Intensive Corrections Orders (ICOs) are covered in a previous section.

5. Home Detention Order

A court that has sentenced an offender to imprisonment for not more than 18 months may make a home detention order [CSPA s6]. An HDO cannot be made if the offender is already serving such an order and the combined period for both offences would exceed 18 months.

The making of a HDO is subject to the written consent of the persons with whom the offender would likely reside. An assessment of the offender’s suitability for a HDO would need to be undertaken. HDO suitability reports are prepared by the Probation and Parole Service [CSPA s78].

The Court may impose additional conditions on a Home Detention Order relating to employment or performing community service work [CSPA s82].

HDOs are not available for certain offences:
• Murder, attempted murder or manslaughter;
• Sexual assault;
• Sexual offences involving children;
• Armed robbery;
• Any offence involving use of a firearm;
• Assault occasioning actual bodily harm or any more serious assault;
• Certain domestic violence offences;
• Certain drug offences involving commercial quantities.
[CSPA s76]

HDOs are not available for offenders who have previously been convicted of:
• Murder, attempted murder or manslaughter;
• Sexual assault;
c• Sexual offences involving children;
• Certain domestic violence offences;
• Or who is subject to an AVO, being an order made for the protection of the person with whom it is likely the offender would reside.
[CSPA s77]

A Court may revoke an HDO if:
• The offender fails to comply with the order;
• The offender fails to appear before the parole board; or
• A person with whom the offender resides withdraws consent.

Once an HDO is revoked the offender must serve the rest of their sentence in full time custody. The offender can apply for a reinstatement where at least 3 months of the offender’s sentence has been served in full-time custody.

6. Compulsory Drug Treatment Program

The Drug Court may direct the offender to serve a sentence of imprisonment by way of compulsory drug treatment detention, including alcohol abuse. An offender can undertake assessment for the MERIT Scheme (Magistrates Early Referral into Treatment Program). When the program is completed the Offender returns to Court for sentencing. Participants can also be referred through the Local Court. Involvement in the MERIT scheme may be a condition of bail. A defendant is not required to plead guilty before taking part in the MERIT scheme [CSPA s5A].

There are two drug court programs operating in NSW:
1. the Western Sydney Drug Court; and
the Hunter Drug Court.

To be eligible for a Drug Court program there is a requirement that an applicant to the Court be over 18 years of age and have no mental condition that would prohibit participation in the program. Further, the defendant must be dependant on the use of illicit drugs, be pleading guilty and highly likely to be given a prison sentence.

7. Intervention Programs

A court that finds a person guilty without proceeding to sentencing may adjourn proceedings for a maximum period of 12 months and grant bail in order to assess the offender’s capacity and prospects for participation in an intervention program or rehabilitation and allow the offender to participate in such a program. After allowing time for the offender to undertake the program, the Court will reconvene for sentencing [CSPA s11].

An offender needs to be referred by the court for an assessment of their suitability to participate in an intervention program [s100O].

An order may be made if the court is satisfied that it would reduce the likelihood of the person reoffending. Not all offenders will qualify for a participation in a program [CSPA s10].

If the Court suspects the offender has failed to comply with a program intervention order the court may call on the offender to appear before it. If the Court is satisfied that the Offender has failed to comply with the program they may revoke the order [CSPR s100R].

If the Court revokes an intervention order they may convict and sentence the offender for the original offence [100S].

8. Community Service Order

A community service order can be made by the court directing the offender to perform community service work for a specified number of hours. The number of hours worked must not exceed 500, or the number of hours prescribed by the offence. An order cannot require participation for more than three times weekly and the time for participation in any one week cannot exceed 15 hours [CSPA s8].

A new community service order cannot be made in addition to a previous order if the sum of the hours exceeds 500 [CSPA s87].

A Court may impose additional conditions on a community service order including a fine, compensation, participation in development programs and testing for alcohol or drug use [CSPA s90].

A pre-sentence report will need to be obtained from the Probation and Parole Service if an offender is to be sentenced to a community service order. There needs to be arrangements existing in the area in which the offender resides to perform community service work [CSPA s86].

9. Good Behaviour Bond

Without proceeding to conviction a Court that finds a person guilty of an offence may make an order discharging the person on condition that they enter into a good behaviour bond for a term not exceeding two years. An order may be made if the court is satisfied that it would reduce the likelihood of the person reoffending [CSPA s10].

Alternately, a Court may impose a criminal conviction and sentence the offender to a good behaviour bond for a specified term not to exceed five years [CSPA s9].

Conditions of good behaviour bonds:
• Must contain a condition that the offender will appear before the court if called on at any time during the term of the bond;
• Must contain a condition that during the term of the bond the person will be of good behaviour;
• May contain a condition to perform community service work;
• May contain a condition to pay a fine or compensation;
• May contain a condition to participate in an intervention program, undergo counselling or submit to medical treatment.
[CSPA s95]

If the Court suspects that an offender may have failed to comply with the conditions of a good behaviour bond the Court may call on the offender to appear. If the offender fails to appear the court may issue a warrant for the offender’s arrest. If the Court is satisfied that the offender has failed to comply with the conditions of the bond a court may vary the conditions of the bond or otherwise revoke it [CSPA s98].

If a court revokes a good behaviour bond they may:
• Re-sentence the offender;
• Convict and sentence the offender; or
• Make an order directing that the sentence of imprisonment to which the bond relates be served by way of an intensive correction order or home detention.
[CSPA s99].

10. Fines

Fines can be imposed as an additional penalty to a good behaviour bond [CSPA s14].

Fines can otherwise be imposed as an additional or alternative penalty to a sentence including imprisonment for any indictable offence [CSPA s15].

One penalty unit accounts for $110 i.e. a fine of 50 penalty units will amount to $5,500 [CSPA s17].

11. Suspended Sentence

A court that imposes a sentence of no more than 2 years may suspend the sentence and release the offender provided they enter a good behaviour bond for a period not exceeding the term of the sentence [CSPA s12].

If an offender breaches a suspended sentence order the Magistrate must revoke the order.

12. Dismissal of Charges

Without proceeding to conviction, a Court that finds a person guilty of an offence may make an order directing that the charge be dismissed [CSPA s10].

13. Non-Association and Place Restriction Orders

A Non-association Order prohibits an offender from associating with a specified person for a specified term [CSPA s17A].

A Place restriction order prohibits an offender from frequenting or visiting a specified place or district for a specified term. Such an order may be limited to certain times and circumstances [CSPA s17A].

Contravention of a non-association or place restriction order will result in a maximum penalty of 10 penalty units or six months imprisonment, or both [CSPA s100E].

A Local Court may vary or revoke an order, regardless of whether the order was made by the Local Court or another Court [CSPA s100G].

14. Orders pursuant to Mental Health Act 1990

Orders pursuant to the Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act are covered in a previous section.

How can Daoud Legal:
Sydney Criminal Defence & Traffic Lawyers help?

Our criminal defence lawyers will carefully consider your case, advise you on all your legal options, and recommend the best way forward.

Call us now on (02) 8059 7121 or text 0420 998 650 24hrs to book a free consultation with one of our lawyers.

Expert Criminal Sentencing Lawyers in Sydney, NSW

When facing criminal charges, the sentencing phase is a critical juncture that can significantly impact your life. At Daoud Legal : Sydney Criminal Defence & Traffic Lawyers, our experienced criminal sentencing lawyers Sydney understand the complexities of the sentencing process and are dedicated to protecting your rights and achieving the best possible outcome.

Navigating the legal system can be daunting, but with our team of seasoned professionals by your side, you can rest assured that your case is in capable hands. We recognise the importance of obtaining expert legal advice at this crucial stage, as the consequences of a criminal conviction can be far-reaching.

Understanding the Sentencing Process

The sentencing process involves the magistrate or judge determining and imposing an appropriate sentence based on the specific circumstances of your case. Under the Sentencing Act 1991, various factors must be considered, including the nature and severity of the offence, your criminal history (if any), and any mitigating or aggravating circumstances.

The types of sentences available range from fines and bonds to community service orders, intensive corrections orders, and even custodial sentences, such as gaol time or suspended sentences. Our criminal lawyers have a deep understanding of the sentencing process and will work tirelessly to present your case in the most favourable light, advocating for a fair and proportionate outcome.

Achieving the Best Possible Sentencing Outcome

Our ultimate goal is to help you avoid a criminal record or secure a non-custodial sentence whenever possible. We understand the profound impact a criminal conviction can have on your future prospects, and our team is committed to exploring every legal avenue to minimise the consequences you face. However, in cases where an unfair or unduly harsh sentence is imposed, our criminal lawyers are well-versed in the appeals process and will not hesitate to challenge the decision through the appropriate legal channels. We firmly believe in upholding justice and ensuring that your rights are protected at every stage of the proceedings.

Navigating Custodial Sentences

In some cases, a custodial sentence, such as gaol time, a suspended sentence, or an intensive corrections order, may be unavoidable. Our criminal law solicitors will provide you with comprehensive guidance and support throughout this process, ensuring that you understand your rights and obligations.

We will also assist you in understanding the parole process and your eligibility for early release, should that be a possibility. Our goal is to ensure that your time in custody is as manageable as possible and that you are adequately prepared for successful reintegration into the community upon release.

Exploring Non-Custodial Sentencing Alternatives

Whenever appropriate, our criminal lawyers in New South Wales will actively pursue non-custodial sentencing options, such as bonds, bail, good behaviour undertakings, community service orders, home detention, or participation in rehabilitation programs. These alternatives can often provide a more constructive approach to addressing the underlying issues while minimizing the disruption to your life and future prospects.

We will work closely with you to understand your unique circumstances and present a compelling case for a non-custodial sentence that aligns with your best interests and the principles of justice and rehabilitation.

Traffic and Local Court Sentencing

Our Sydney criminal lawyers have extensive experience handling a wide range of traffic and local criminal offence, from driving offenses to minor assaults, theft, and public order offenses. We understand the nuances of sentencing considerations in these cases and will work diligently to secure a favourable outcome that minimises the impact on your life.

Whether you're facing a fine, license suspension, or other penalties, our law firm will provide you with sound legal advice and representation, ensuring that your rights are protected and that any mitigating factors are effectively presented to the court.

District and Supreme Court Sentencing

For more serious indictable criminal offenses, such as serious assaults, sexual offenses, drug trafficking, or fraud, the sentencing process may take place in the District or Supreme Court. In these cases, the potential sentencing options can be more severe, including lengthier periods of imprisonment.

As the leading criminal lawyers in Sydney, we have extensive experience appearing in higher courts at sentence hearing and navigating the complexities of these cases. We will meticulously prepare your defence, gather all relevant evidence and mitigating factors, and advocate tirelessly on your behalf to secure the most favourable sentencing outcome possible. With our experience and expertise, the court may give you a favourable outcome.

Experienced Criminal Lawyers You Can Trust

At Daoud Legal: Sydney Criminal Defence & Traffic Lawyers, our experienced criminal defence lawyers boasts a wealth of experience and a proven track record of success in defending criminal cases. Our attorneys are highly respected within the legal community and are dedicated to upholding the highest standards of professionalism and ethics.

Testimonials and Success Stories

"The team at Daoud Legal was instrumental in securing a favourable sentencing outcome for me. Their unwavering commitment and legal expertise truly made a difference in my case."

Haoyu Zheng

Get in Touch with Our Criminal Defence Lawyers in Sydney

If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges and in need of expert legal representation during the sentencing phase, don't hesitate to reach out to our team. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case and provide you with tailored legal advice.

Contact Us

Call us now on 1300 885 646 or text 0420 998 650 24 hrs for a free consultation.

Alternatively, you can fill out our online enquiry form, and one of our criminal lawyers will get back to you promptly.

Need Expert Advice ? Speak to a Criminal Lawyer Sydney Today

Don't leave your future to chance. If you're facing criminal charges, it's crucial to seek the guidance of experienced criminal lawyers who can protect your rights at all times. Call the best criminal lawyers in Sydney CBD to schedule a free consultation.


What areas of criminal law do the experienced criminal lawyers in our firm offer legal advice in ?

Our experts can provide guidance across all types of criminal charges from minor traffic offenses to serious indictable crimes. Our experts can provide guidance across all types of criminal charges from minor traffic offenses to serious indictable crimes.

How can an accused person get the best criminal defence if charged with a criminal offence ?

It's important to engage the top criminal law firm for legal advice and representation. Our highly experienced criminal defence lawyers in Sydney have a proven track record of achieving best results.

Can the criminal lawyer who can give legal advice also represent clients in court ?

Yes, our senior criminal lawyers appear regularly in local courts, district or Supreme Court and some have even presented cases in the highest courts in Australia.

What options does the court have to make an order if finding someone guilty of an offence ?

Sentencing depends on the seriousness of the offence but the court can impose a fine, probation, community service, imprisonment unless it is satisfied rehabilitation or other intervention programs are suitable.

What is the process if the offender is sentenced to imprisonment ?

If a term of imprisonment is given, we can advise on parole eligibility including how to demonstrate your suitability for release before the full sentence is served to the parole authority.

What role can our team of criminal defence lawyers play to help achieve the best possible outcome ?

Our expert team will strongly and skilfully argue your case, identify any defences and present all mitigating factors to the court to try and avoid or reduce charges and minimise any sentence imposed.

Do the leading criminal lawyers have experience in complex legal matters across NSW ?

Absolutely. Our firm has successfully defended clients in criminal cases for decades, both locally and interstate. This deep experience gives us strong insights into judges and prosecution across all levels.

How can calling our Sydney criminal lawyers help if facing criminal charges?

We understand how serious criminal charges can be. Get in touch for compassionate yet rigorous representation from specialists who will work tirelessly to develop the best strategy based on your individual circumstances.

What services do criminal law firms in Sydney provide for traffic offences ?

Our joint criminal and traffic law team advise on all driving matters ranging from speeding and vehicle offenses through to drink driving and dangerous operation charges.

Does engaging the best criminal lawyers help create reasonable doubt ?

Top-tier defence aims to raise uncertainty over the prosecution's case. We methodically examine the evidence, identify inconsistencies or other weaknesses to try and convince the court there is reasonable doubt of your guilt.


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