A court can add one or more orders to a sentence imposed on an adult offender.
A restitution order requires the offender to return stolen property, or the proceeds from its sale, to the original owner.
Victims of crime can apply for a compensation order within 12 months of the offender’s conviction for a crime. A compensation order requires the offender to pay the victim financial compensation for:
- injury, including pain or suffering
- medical or other expenses incurred or likely to be incurred directly as a result of the offence
- damage, loss, or destruction of property as a result of the offence.
Before a court makes a compensation order, it will review evidence of the injury, loss, or expense, and it may consider the offender’s ability to pay. The court must give reasons for its decision on whether or not to make a compensation order.
If a compensation order is made, it will be reduced by any amount awarded separately under the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996.
Confiscation and Forfeiture of Property
When an offender has been charged with an offence or found guilty of an offence, the state may take away his or her property under confiscation and forfeiture laws contained in the Confiscation Act 1997.
Property that can be forfeited includes:
- property used to commit the offence
- property obtained with the proceeds of the offence
- property that has otherwise been unlawfully obtained
- unexplained wealth.
Depending on the case, forfeiture can be automatic or it can result from an order made at the discretion of the court.
Where there is no property to forfeit (for example, where an offender has already spent the proceeds of the offence), a court can make an order requiring the offender to pay an amount of money equivalent to what he or she gained from the offence. This is known as a pecuniary penalty order.
The Confiscation Act 1997 allows police to freeze funds or prevent a person from dealing with property believed to be the proceeds of crime. This could include, for example, preventing a person withdrawing funds from a specified bank account or from selling a house.
Disqualification and Suspension from Driving
If a person is found guilty or is convicted of any offence in Victoria, that person’s driver licence or learner permit may be suspended or cancelled. For a serious motor vehicle offence, the court must cancel the person's driver licence for a specified period of time.
For some drink driving offences, the Magistrates’ Court can order the installation of a device in the offender’s car preventing the car from starting if the offender has a blood alcohol reading higher than the legal limit.
Sex Offender Registration
Under the Sex Offenders Registration Act 2004, offenders convicted of certain sexual offences are automatically registered as sex offenders.
For other sexual offences, the court can decide whether or not to register an offender.
Offenders on the register must keep police advised of changes to their personal details, including their living arrangements or plans to travel outside of Victoria.
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