Sentencing Outcomes in the Magistrates' Court

In 2017–18, the Magistrates' Court most frequently imposed:

  • fines (54.0% of sentenced cases)
  • adjourned undertakings (14.7% of sentenced cases)
  • community correction orders (10.2% of sentenced cases).

In the 14 years to June 2018, the percentage of cases sentenced to imprisonment was up, from 4.9% in 2004–05 to 8.4% in 2017–18.

The use of wholly suspended sentences and partially suspended sentences decreased sharply, from 6.0% in 2013–14 to 0.5% in 2015–16. 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 10.2% in 2017–18. Most of this increase began in 2011–12. The community correction order replaced the community-based order on 16 January 2012.

Cases receiving an adjourned undertaking increased from 10.1% in 2004–05 to 14.7% in 2017–18.

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 included because it is an important disposition available in the Magistrates' Court.

Percentage of cases sentenced in the Magistrates’ Court from July 2004 to June 2018 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Source: Court Services Victoria, unpublished data.