Clarity Law

Specialist Criminal Law Firm Queensland
Saturday, 19 February 2022 15:57

Guide to Probation Orders

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If you commit a serious offence (or a series of related offences) in Queensland, your lawyer and / or the court may discuss the possibility of you serving probation.

The purpose of this guide is to provide you with a brief overview of probation orders, how they work, and their general purpose.


What is a Probation Order?

Probation and community-service orders are considered “intermediate” orders. As such, they are more serious sentences than fines or good-behaviour recognisances, but not as severe as imprisonment or intensive correction orders.

When you are released on a probation order, you are put under the supervision of a Corrective Services Officer for the duration of the order. It is for the court to decide how long the order will last. However, the Queensland’s sentencing legislation dictates that the court can only make a probation order of between 6 months and 3 years.

The court can only impose probation with your consent.

The purpose of probation is to give you assistance addressing any underlying issues that may be causing you to commit offences; for example, addiction, past trauma, mental health issues, financial distress, etc. Your Corrective Services Officer can help connect you to services that may be able to help you address these issues. Attendance at these services can be made conditions of your probation, so that you risk being further charged with breaching your probation if you stop engaging.


Will a Conviction be Recorded?

Queensland’s sentencing legislation does not require the court to record a conviction when imposing probation. In other words, it is entirely a matter for the court to decide whether to record a conviction.

The usual factors that the court must consider when deciding whether to record a conviction apply.


What are the General Requirements of a Probation Order?

The court is obliged to release you on probation subject to the following mandatory conditions:

  • you must not commit another offence during the period of the order;
  • you must report to the Probation and Parole office to which the court directs you (usually the office closest to where you live) within the timeframe decided by the court (usually within 24 to 48 hours after the order is made);
  • you must report to, and receive visits from, your probation officer, as directed by that officer;
  • you must take part in counselling or attend other programmes as directed by either the court or your probation officer;
  • you must notify your probation officer of any changes to your residential address or changes to your employment within 2 business days;
  • you must not leave Queensland without the permission of your probation officer; and
  • you must comply with every reasonable direction of your probation officer.

Failure to comply with any of these conditions could result in you being charged with breaching your probation. The possible consequences of breaching probation are discussed below.


What Other Conditions May be Imposed?

In addition to the above, mandatory conditions, the court may also impose other, more specific conditions that are designed to help you avoid committing further offences or avoid antisocial behaviour. These conditions may include that you submit to medical, psychiatric, or psychological treatment. They may also include requirements that you are routinely tested for alcohol or drugs and that these tests must be negative. Whether the court considers it necessary to impose these extra conditions will depend on the circumstances of your particular case.

Failing to comply with these additional conditions of your probation may also result in you being charged with breaching your probation.


What Happens if You Breach the Probation Order?

If you are convicted of breaching probation, a number of consequences may follow. Firstly, the court may impose a fine of up to $1,334.00 and / or record a conviction for the breach. Secondly, the court may revoke the probation order. Thirdly, should the court revoke your probation, it must then re-sentence you for the original offence for which you were given probation in the first place. This means that you then risk receiving a harsher penalty and / or having a conviction recorded for that original offence.

Prosecutions for breaching probation are handled by Queensland Corrective Services, and not by the police. However, if the breach consists of committing another offence, you may find yourself being prosecuted by both the police (for the new offence) and Corrective Services (for the breach of probation).

 Lern more with our article on what happens if you breach a probation order.



Probation orders are designed as a form of punishment while providing you with other types of support which may help with your rehabilitation. In other words, probation is designed to help you receive treatment for any underlying conditions which may be contributing to your offending while imposing a milder form of punishment than imprisonment.

If you have been charged with a serious offence and think that probation would benefit you, it is important to get expert legal advice. 


How do I get more information or engage you to act for me? 

If you want to engage us or just need further information or advice then you can either;

  1. Use our contact form and we will contact you by email or phone at a time that suits you
  2. Call us on 1300 952 255 seven days a week, 7am to 7pm
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We are a no pressure law firm, we are happy to provide information to assist you, if you want to engage us then great, if not then you atleast have more information about your charge. You wont be chased or hounded to engage us.  Remember its critical you get advice before going to court.

Read 701 times Last modified on Wednesday, 15 May 2024 09:25
Russell Tannock

Russell Tannock is a senior criminal defence lawyer at Clarity Law.  Russell appears in every court in South East Queensland respresenting clients charged with criminal offences.