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Breach of court orders

Penalties awarded by Courts can take many forms.  Most offenders do not receive prison sentences but instead they receive sentences served in the community. These sentences are monitored by Probation Services for adults and the Youth Offending Team for those under 18.  

If such an order is applied to you, it is important to comply with it fully and to stay in close contact with either the probation officer or youth offending worker. Compliance means, for example, completing any unpaid work allocated to you and attending all appointments as required. A failure to comply can result in a summons being issued for what is known as  ‘breach proceedings’.

If you have been given a Community or Suspended Sentence Order and are accused of breaching it then our specialist team can help. We represent youths and adults accused of breaching Youth Offending or Probation Orders.

In the Youth Court, you may have received either a Referral Order or Youth Rehabilitation Order with or without ‘Intensive Supervision and Surveillance’. An adult may receive Community Orders or Suspended Sentence Orders from the Magistrates or Crown Courts.

The law requires that breaches are dealt with more severely than the original sentence dictated. This may include anything from a fine, unpaid work, an electronically monitored curfew (tag), additional rehabilitation requirements or prison.  As these orders can remain in place for up to three years, people’s circumstances can change and make compliance more difficult.  This can result in orders being breached, sometimes on even more than one occasion. However, whatever the type of/reasons for the breach and however difficult progress on an order may have been, our experts will do their utmost to achieve the best possible result on your behalf. They know that breaches can occur for many reasons and there may be strong arguments to put forward in your defence to try to avoid a custodial sentence following the breach.

Breaches of post-supervision requirements

Our team can also help if you are accused of breaching post - supervision requirements following release from custody.

Extended supervision periods mean that any offender who receives a custodial sentence of more than one day will serve half of their sentence in custody with the remaining half spent ‘on licence’ and then a further period of supervision after that.  The period on licence and the period of supervision must both add up to a total of 12 months.

If an offender fails to comply with any of the supervision requirements of his sentence he is liable to be summonsed to appear before the Court.  Breaching post-sentence supervision attracts the following penalties: Committal to prison for a period not exceeding 14 days, a fine or a ‘supervision default order’ comprising either unpaid work or a curfew.

It is important to seek specialist legal advice quickly if ever you are accused of breaching an order or post-sentence supervision as a delay or failure to obtain representation may result in an unwelcome outcome. Our expert team have many years of experience in this area of law and will not only work with you   but also make representations to either the Youth Offending Team or Probation Services agree an acceptable way forward. Breaches can often occur as a result of a simple breakdown in communication. Once instructed to act on your behalf, we can try to resolve these issues so that either no action is taken on the breach or the original orders are allowed to continue, rather than more severe penalties being incurred. Legal aid is often available to clients in these situations, due to  the high risk of custody attached to them.

If you need specialist advice in this respect, please contact us today

 

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