Sentencing Options for Adults

The Sentencing Act 1991 outlines a range of available sentencing orders (sentence types) for adults convicted of offences in Victoria.

Under section 5(3) of the Sentencing Act 1991, a court must not impose a sentence that is more severe than necessary to achieve the purpose or purposes for which the sentence is imposed. This provision expresses the principle of parsimony.

Sentencing can be deferred for up to 12 months if the Magistrates’ Court or the County Court believes it is in the interests of the offender and if the offender agrees. During the deferral period, the offender can take steps, such as rehabilitation, to address the offending behaviour. The offender’s progress is taken into account when the final sentence is decided.

Major changes to Victorian sentencing orders came into effect from 2011 to 2014. A number of sentencing orders were abolished, such as suspended sentences, combined custody and treatment orders, home detention, intensive correction orders, and community-based orders.

Community correction orders were introduced on 16 January 2012 to replace combined custody and treatment orders, intensive correction orders, and community-based orders. Community correction orders also operate as an alternative sentencing option for offenders who are at risk of a prison sentence.

Available Options

The sentencing orders available for adults in Victoria include:

A court can impose additional orders to the sentence given to an adult offender.

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