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There are many factors that can affect the sentencing process and the range of likely sentencing outcomes.

During Sentencing, the Court Considers the Following Factors:

  1. The prior good character of a person;
  2. The circumstances of offending;
  3. The aggravating factors;
  4. The mitigating factors;
  5. The seriousness of offending.
  6. The insight of the offender;
  7. Whether the offender shows remorse;
  8. Whether there are changes made in the offender’s lifestyle;
  9. Whether the offender attended counselling, if available;
  10. Victim Impact Statement;
  11. The assistance and cooperation of the offender (if any) with the police;
  12. Any reports are written by experts for sentencing purposes;
  13. The Prosecution’s attitude towards the charges;
  14. The presiding judge/magistrate’s perception of the offender’s offending.
Criminal Law

The Court Will Also Consider the Following Principles:

  1. Whether the sentence is given must be appropriate for the seriousness of the offence;
  2. The sentence must be appropriate for all of the offences the accused is being sentenced for if there is more than one;
  3. If there are co-offenders, whether there is any parity in a sentence.

Please note that the above list is not exhaustive and the Court can rely on other sentencing principles under the Sentencing Act 1995 (WA), Sentence Administration Act 2003 (WA) or common law principles.

What Are the Various Sentences I Can Be Imposed With?

The Courts would usually impose a term of imprisonment as the last resort. The Court will consider all other sentencing avenues before deciding the impose a term of imprisonment. The other sentencing dispositions include:

  1. Monetary Fine;
  2. Community-Based Order;
  3. Intensive Supervision Order; and/or,
  4. Conditional Suspended Imprisonment.

However, the Courts are mindful of your circumstances when determining whether a term of imprisonment is appropriate. The duplicity, frequency, and severity of the offending behaviour can also play a role in determining whether a term of imprisonment should be imposed.

For this reason, it is always prudent to speak to our lawyers at WN Legal when you are charged with an offence.

What Are the Various Sentences I Can Be Imposed With?

What is a Spent Conviction Order?

A Spent Conviction Order means that the offence is declared ‘spent at the time of sentencing. With a Spent Conviction Order, you may not have to acknowledge that you were charged with, and convicted of an offence. However, there are some circumstances where you have to disclose a spent conviction order.

Under s. 45 of the Sentencing Act 1995 (WA), the Court must not grant a Spent Conviction Order unless:

  1. It considers that the offender is unlikely to commit such an offence again; and,
  2. Having regard to the fact of the offence is trivial; or,
  3. The previous good character of the offender,

A Spent Conviction Order considers that the offender should be relieved immediately of the adverse effect that the conviction might have on the offender.

In the case of Brewer v Bayens [2002] WASCA 271, the Full Court observed the terms of s. 45 of the Sentencing Act 1995 (WA) and elaborated on the discretionary power and matters that can be considered when providing a Spent Conviction Order. There are many other case laws out there that can also be relied on when making a Spent Conviction Order. For this reason, it is wise to speak to our lawyers at WN Legal and we can keep you informed on what will happen to your matter during sentencing.

To maximise your chances of obtaining a Spent Conviction Order, our lawyers at WN Legal would ask you to request character references from independent referees prior to sentencing. If the offence is related to domestic violence or drug-related, we may also ask you to attend counselling and obtain a report from the corresponding institution(s).

Please contact WN Legal’s criminal defence lawyers to understand more about what you are charged with and whether you should defend your charges.

Our Criminal Defence Lawyers at WN Legal

WN Legal Criminal Lawyers for Sentencing and Spent Conviction Order

WN Legal is one of the top boutique law firms in the Perth area. We have a skilled team of criminal Lawyers for any sentencing and spent conviction orders, who will guide you through the legal system. Our team has assisted many clients with their sentencing and conviction spent orders, and we can help you, as well.

Because we understand the courts and methods involved and how to apply for lesser eligible WA convictions to be spent, WN Legal will make sure your circumstances are understood and that you get the best possible outcome.

FAQs About Sentencing and Conviction Order

What distinguishes a sentence from a conviction?

A conviction signifies the result of a criminal trial, indicating the establishment or declaration of a person’s guilt for a crime. Conversely, a sentence entails the official pronouncement by a court that assigns a penalty to an individual who has been found guilty of a criminal offense.

How long does a conviction stay on your record in WA?

If you didn’t go to prison, or you went to prison for 30 months or less, the conviction will usually be spent automatically after a certain amount of time. The waiting periods are:

  • for an adult, 10 years beginning on the date of conviction, and
  • for a minor, 5 years beginning on the date of conviction.

Can I apply for an old conviction to be spent?

You can’t apply to have your old conviction spent if you were sentenced to life imprisonment for the offence. However, you can apply to have your old conviction spent after a certain waiting period.

What is the difference between a lesser conviction and a serious conviction?

  • A lesser conviction is where the penalty was one year imprisonment or less, or a fine of less than $15,000.
  • A serious conviction is where the penalty was imprisonment for more than one year, or a fine of $15,000 or more.