Understanding Court Orders in the Criminal Court

Understanding Court Orders in the Criminal Court

Criminal Procedure

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courtroom jury bench judge seatsThere are a number of different types of court orders in criminal court. In this article we shall examine some of the more common types of criminal court order.

In New South Wales, these include community service orders, intensive correction orders, conditional release orders and forfeiture orders.

Community service orders (CSO):

Community service orders are a court ordered sentence that requires an offender to perform a specified number of hours of unpaid work in the community. They are alternatives to a full-time custodial sentence.

This type of sentence is usually given to offenders who committed relatively minor offences and the court considers to be at low risk of reoffending.

A CSO is a way for offenders to give back to the community and make amends for their actions.

Some examples of what work are:

  • Cleaning up public spaces
  • Building or maintaining community gardens

CSOs usually get supervision by a community corrections officer. That person is responsible for ensuring that the offender meets their obligations under the order. The offender also has to report to their community corrections officer on a regular basis. They may be subject to drug testing or other conditions as part of the order.

If a CSO breached occurs, you may have to go back to court which may impose harsher penalties.

Intensive Correction Orders (ICO):

An intensive correction order is a court-ordered sentence that is a stricter alternative to a standard community correction order. It is a custodial sentence that you serve in the community rather than in prison.

This order’s definition is within Section 7 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999.

An ICO generally goes to those who committed relatively serious crimes and that the court considers to be at medium to high risk of reoffending. They can only go to those over the age of 18.

  • Regular reporting to a community corrections officer
  • Completing community service work
  • Undergo electronic monitoring
  • Abstain from alcohol or drugs
  • Attend rehabilitation programs
  • Abide by a curfew

If an ICO breach occurs, you may go back to court which may impose harsher penalties.

Conditional Release Orders (CRO)

Conditional release orders are a sentencing option that replaced good behaviour bonds.

  • A CRO is defined as an order as per section 9 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999.
  • The sentencing procedure act empowers a court to make a CRO either with or without proceeding to a conviction.
  • For domestic violence offences, a CRO must include a supervision condition and the court must consider the safety of the victim before making the order.
  • The procedures associated with making a CRO are set out in Part 8 of the Act.
  • A Local Court cannot make a CRO if the offender is not present. s 25(1)(e) Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act

For example, CROs typically go to offenders who served a portion of their sentence and the court considers to be at a low risk of reoffending. The law intends to help the offender reintegrate into society and reduce the risk of reoffending.

  • Abiding by a curfew
  • Reporting to a community corrections officer
  • Completing community service work
  • Undergoing drug and alcohol testing
  • Abstaining from alcohol or drugs
  • Attending rehabilitation programs
  • Prohibiting contact with certain individuals

The court can take action as outlined in Part 4C of the Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Act. 

Forfeiture Orders

A forfeiture order allows the state to seize property that has been used in, or is in the proceeds of, illegal activities. This type of order typically finds use in cases involving money laundering, drug trafficking, and other types of organised crime.

  • Cash
  • real estate
  • vehicles
  • other property
  • sold or otherwise disposed of, with the proceeds used to fund law enforcement activities

Yes, you may argue that the property was not used in illegal activities or by claiming that they have a legitimate interest in the property. Contact us if you wish to challenge a forfeiture order.

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Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.


O’Brien Criminal & Civil Solicitors
p: 02 9261 4281
a: Level 4, 219-223 Castlereagh St,
Sydney NSW 2000

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