Commonwealth offences

The provisions in this chapter deal with sentencing for offences against Victorian law. These penalties do not generally apply to defendants sentenced for offences against Commonwealth law.

The penalties applicable to Commonwealth offences can be found in the section creating the offence or in a general provision in the Act itself. For example, conviction for a social security fraud offence involves imprisonment or a fine if the matter is dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court.

However, there are some penalties in the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) (‘Crimes Act (Cth)’) that direct courts to penalties capable of general application to all Commonwealth offences. For example, non-conviction orders (i.e. adjournments with bonds) for Commonwealth offences may be made under section 19B of the Crimes Act (Cth).

Section 20 of the Crimes Act (Cth) contains a provision similar to the adjourned undertakings option available to magistrates for state offences, in that a defendant may be released after being convicted, subject to conditions and undertakings. A Magistrates’ Court, when sentencing a defendant convicted of a Commonwealth offence, is able to impose a CCO (s 20AB).

Unlike defendants against state law, defendants against Commonwealth law who receive a fine or CCO must receive a conviction.

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