Amendments to the Sentencing Act 1997
The Government is currently seeking feedback on the Sentencing Amendment (Criminal Conviction Levy) Bill 2015.
The Sentencing Amendment (Criminal Conviction Levy) Bill 2015 amends the Sentencing Act 1997 to provide that an offender is liable to pay a criminal conviction levy of $50 when sentenced by the Magistrates Court and a criminal conviction of $150 when sentenced by the Supreme Court.
This Bill provides that the criminal conviction levy will automatically not apply if:
- prior to being sentenced, the offender has completed the mental health and cognitive disability diversion program;
- the sentence imposed on an offender:
- includes imprisonment (except where the sentence is wholly or partly suspended);
- includes a drug treatment order;
- includes a rehabilitation program order;
- is recorded under the Youth Justice Act 1997.
In addition, the court has discretion not to impose the criminal conviction levy if to do so would cause unreasonable hardship to the offender.
Also, if there are multiple offences and an offender is automatically excluded on one offence, the court has discretion to exclude the levy for all other offences.
Where there are multiple proceedings against an offender the court has the discretion to determine that an offender is only required to pay the criminal conviction levy once.
The criminal conviction levy is in addition to any pecuniary penalty or compensation order imposed by the court and the potential liability pay a criminal conviction levy is not to be taken into consideration when a sentence is determined by the court.
Unpaid criminal conviction levies will be referred to the Monetary Penalties Enforcement Service.
Comments on the Bill should be provided to the Department of Justice by Wednesday, 8 July 2015.
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