What is a Community Service Order?
A Community Service Order or CSO is one of the options open to Queensland courts when sentencing an individual. A Community Service Order requires an individual to complete unpaid community service under the supervision of a corrective services officer for a set number of hours determined by the court. The order can only be made with the consent of the individual being sentenced.
How many hours can I be Sentenced To?
Under section 107 of the Penalties and Sentences Act the Court can sentence you to between 40 and 240 hours of community service. In most cases you will have one year from the date the order is made to complete the hours, however the court can specify another date if they believe it is more suitable.
Will a Conviction be Recorded?
When the court imposes a Community Service Order, the court has discretion whether or not to record a conviction.
What are the General Requirements of a Community Service Order?
Within 24 - 48 hours of being sentenced to a Community Service Order you will be required to report to a corrective service officer. The location and amount of time you must attend the corrective service office will be determined by the court and your lawyer will make sure you know when and where you are going.
Once you meet your officer, they will speak to you and having regard for your skills, ability and work or education schedule they will direct you to perform a certain type of community service. The work can include projects at nursing homes, councils, sporting clubs, charities, and other organisations.
What if I can’t attend or don’t complete the Order?
In the event you fail to obey the order or complete the hours within the required time period you may be returned to court for further action. Depending on your reasons for not completing and the extent to which you did complete the order the court may give you a warning, fine you for breaking the order or cancel the order and re-sentence you for the original offence.
A corrective service officer will check in with an on-site supervisor on your progress and take action If you are unable to attend your community service you must tell your corrective officer and on-site supervisor as soon as possible. If you are sick you will be required to provide an original medical certificate which is dated on the day of your absence and state the period of time you are unable to work.
If you are having problems with completing the order you should tell your corrective services officer as soon as possible to allow them to assist you in overcoming those issues.