Jane Anderson - Specialist Criminal Lawyer Adelaide

Criminal Law Sentencing

The criminal law sentencing process can be complex and sometimes confusing. It is always advisable to obtain expert legal advice from an experienced criminal lawyer if you are facing criminal charges.

Maximum penalties for the various criminal offences can be found in the relevant legislation. A maximum penalty will typically include a fine amount, a period of imprisonment, or both. The maximum penalty is reserved for offending at the most serious end of the scale and it is unusual for the maximum to be imposed.

In addition to fines and immediate imprisonment, the court has a range of other sentencing options available to it including:

  • Home Detention;
  • Suspended term of imprisonment;
  • Good behaviour bond (with or without conditions);
  • Intensive Correction Order;
  • Community Service;
  • Licence disqualification;
  • Compensation Order;
  • Forfeiture Order.

Periodic (or weekend) detention, formerly utilised in some other states, is not available in South Australia.

Immediate imprisonment is of course the most serious penalty which may be imposed. In considering whether to impose immediate imprisonment, the court must be satisfied that:

  1. The offence is so serious that the only penalty that can be justified is imprisonment; or
  2. A sentence of imprisonment is necessary to protect the safety of the community (either an individual or the community in general).

The factors which must be taken into account by the court in determining sentence are set out in the Sentencing Act 2017 and include:

  1. the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offence;
  2. the personal circumstances and vulnerability of any victim of the offence;
  3. the extent of any injury, emotional harm, loss or damage resulting from the offence or any significant risk or danger created by the offence;
  4. the defendant’s character, general background and offending history;
  5. the likelihood of the defendant re-offending;
  6. the defendant’s age, and physical and mental condition;
  7. the extent of the defendant’s remorse for the offence,
  8. the defendant’s prospects of rehabilitation.

If you have been charged with a criminal offence and need advice about potential penalties, contact Mangan Ey & Associates today to arrange to speak with one of our experienced criminal lawyers.


Jane Anderson

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