New sentencing laws in NSW – Part 3 of 5

On 24 September 2018, significant changes were introduced to sentencing laws in New South Wales.  With the introduction of these new reforms, many people might be wondering ‘can I still get a section 10?’

The short answer is yes, though section 10 bonds as we know them have changed.

 What has happened to section 10 bonds?

The old section 10 allowed the court to find a person guilty but not record a conviction, and either:

  • dismiss the charge,
  • require the person to enter into a good behaviour bond, or
  • require the person to participate in an intervention program.

Under the new reforms the court still has powers under options (a) and (c) above, however a new sentencing option has replaced section 10 good behaviour bonds.

What happens now?

From 24 September 2018, there is a new sentencing option called a Conditional Release Order (CRO).

A CRO can either be made with, or without, a conviction.  A CRO without a conviction is the new equivalent to a section 10 bond.

What do I need to know about CROs?

A CRO is a community-based sentence ‘for the lowest level of offending’ which can be imposed for up to 2 years.

The court cannot impose a CRO and a fine for the same offence.

A CRO must include the following ‘standard’ conditions:

  • the offender must not commit any offence
  • the offender must appear before the court if called on to do so at any time during the term of the CRO.

A CRO may also impose additional conditions, such as:

  • a condition requiring supervision by Community Corrections
  • a rehabilitation or treatment condition
  • a condition requiring abstention from alcohol and/or drugs
  • a non-association condition (prohibiting association with a particular person/s)
  • a place restriction condition

If an offender fails to comply with any of these conditions, the court may commence breach proceedings and either:

  • take no action,
  • vary or revoke any of the additional conditions, or impose further conditions, or
  • revoke the CRO and re-sentence the offender.


Stay tuned to find out more.

Part 4 of our 5-part blog, being released on 26 September, explores the new-look ICOs.

Have questions? We’re here to help. Call us on (02) 9696 1361.

Disclaimer: The above information contains a basic summary of the law in NSW as at 21 September 2018. It is not legal advice. If you need legal advice, you should speak to a lawyer.