Community-based sentencing options are set out in the Criminal Procedure Code to provide the Courts with greater flexibility in sentencing for minor offences catered to circumstances which warrant such sentencing. This article poses some frequently asked questions and answers regarding community-based sentencing for your better understanding.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some examples of community-based sentences?
Some community orders that can be made by Courts include:- 1
- Mandatory Treatment Order;
- Day Reporting Order;
- Community Work Order;
- Community Service Order; and
- Short-Detention Order
What are some of the circumstances where community-based sentences cannot be imposed?
There are situations where community-based sentences cannot be imposed. The statutory exclusions against community-based sentencing include:- <-/sup>2
- An offence for which the sentence is fixed by law;
- An offence for which a specified minimum sentence or mandatory minimum sentence of imprisonment or fine or caning is prescribed by law;
- An offence which is specified in the Third Schedule to the Registration of Criminals Act, “Offences for which Criminal Record Cannot be Spent”;
- A person who had previously been sentenced to a term of imprisonment, other than a term of imprisonment served by him in default of payment of a fine;
- A person who had previously been sentenced to reformative training, corrective training or preventive detention;
- A person who had previously been detained or subject to police supervision under Section 30 Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions Act), “Power of Minister to Make Orders”;
- A person who had previously been admitted to an approved institution under Section 34 Misuse of Drugs Act or to an approved centre under Section 17 of the Intoxicating Substances Act;
- An offence which is punishable with a fine only;
- An offence which is punishable with a term of imprisonment which exceeds 3 years.
What is the significance of completing community-based sentences?
Upon successful completion of a community sentence, the offence will be rendered “spent” on the date on which the community sentence is completed. 3
The law in this area is complex, and it is important to have access to legal counsel to better understand sentencing options as it affects liberty. Contact one of our dedicated Specialist Criminal Lawyers who will be able to give you quality advice and personal attention to your specific legal troubles.