In 2020–21, the most common sentencing outcomes in the Magistrates' Court were:
- fines (54.5% of sentenced cases)
- adjourned undertakings (13.4% of sentenced cases)
- imprisonment (12.3% of sentenced cases).
The percentage of cases sentenced to imprisonment increased from 4.9% in 2004–05 to 12.3% in 2020–21.
Cases receiving a fine decreased from 57.9% in 2004–05 to 54.5% in 2020–21.
Cases receiving an adjourned undertaking increased from 10.1% in 2004–05 to 13.4% in 2020–21.
The use of wholly suspended sentences and partially suspended sentences decreased sharply, from 6.0% (5,431 cases) in 2013–14 to less than 1% (12 cases) in 2020–21. This decrease coincides with the abolition of suspended sentences in the Magistrates’ Court for offences committed on or after 1 September 2014.
The use of community correction orders (or community-based orders before January 2012) increased from 5.3% in 2007–08 to 10.5% in 2015–16, before decreasing to 6.2% in 2020–21. Community correction orders replaced community-based orders on 16 January 2012.
Note: The percentages in the graph include cases that received a criminal justice diversion plan. The criminal justice diversion plan is not a sentence, but it is an important disposition available in the Magistrates' Court.
Percentage of cases sentenced in the Magistrates’ Court, by sentencing outcome
Hover over the lines in the graph to display the sentencing outcome, year, number of cases and percentage of cases. Select and deselect sentencing outcomes using the key at the top of the graph. Double-click on the key to reset the graph.
Source: Court Services Victoria, unpublished data. Note that the data may be subject to revision to reflect amendments to records in Court Services Victoria’s databases.