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Mandatory Community Service for Certain Offences

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The law provides that for certain offences committed where a person is intoxicated, when setting a penalty the court must impose some period of community service as part of that order. The changes were made with the Safe Night Out Legislation Amendment Bill in 2014. It provides that where a person is charged with an offence such as obstructing or assaulting police, or common assault where a person is intoxicated and in a public place then the court must make an order for community service ordering the offender perform unpaid community service unless they're convinced the person suffers from physical, intellectual or psychiatric disability. The maximum amount of community service that can be imposed is 240 hours, while the minimum amount that must be imposed is 40 hours.

A community service order requires that the Department of Corrective Services arrange with a person to conduct the community service work within a set period, generally 12 months. This type of work is tailored as much as possible to the person doing the community service work, and the area in which they reside. The other requirements of the community service order include the person must not commit another offence during the period of the order, must generally report to an authorised Corrective Services officer within one to two business days of the order being made and must perform in a satisfactory way the community service order as directed by an authorised Corrective Services officer.

The other requirements are that the person must comply with every reasonable direction of an authorised Corrective Services officer, must not leave or stay out of the state without the permission of that Corrective Services officer, and they must notify of any change in their place of residence or employment within two business days.

Where a person is facing the possibility of a community service order and does suffer from any medical problem that might prevent them from doing that order, it's important that those medical documents are brought before the court before they sentence that person.

The types of offences that are now included within the mandatory community service order include;

·         affray

·         grievous bodily harm

·         wounding

·         common assault

·         assault occasioning bodily harm

·         serious assault

·         assault or obstruction of police.

 

As noted above the mandatory periods of community service only applies where the offence has taken place in a public place, and while the person as adversely affected by an intoxicating substance. That intoxicating substance could be alcohol or a drug.

If you need any additional information you can contact clarity law on 1300 952 255 or visit our website at www.claritylaw.com.au.  We appear in all South East Queensland courts assisting people charged with criminal offences, if you need a criminal lawyer please give us a call to discuss your charges.

 

This article provides general information and does not constitute legal advice.  The law may have changed since this article was written.  Always obtain legal advice when you are charged with a criminal offence.

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