Penalties are described by maximum levels. The Victorian Parliament determines the maximum penalty that can be imposed for a crime. The maximum penalty for an offence is found in the Act outlining that particular offence. Judges and magistrates may impose a sentence less than the maximum penalty.
The following is a list of the maximum prison terms that can be given for some serious offences in Victoria:
Level 1 : Maximum term – life imprisonment
Trafficking in a drug of dependence (large commercial quantity)
Level 2: Maximum term – 25 years
Sexual penetration of a child under 12 years
Arson causing death
Level 3: Maximum term – 20 years
Intentionally causing serious injury
Culpable driving causing death
Level 4: Maximum term – 15 years
Recklessly causing serious injury
Handling stolen goods
Trafficking in a drug of dependence (not a commercial quantity)
Level 5: Maximum term – 10 years
Threats to kill
Negligently causing serious injury
Level 6: Maximum term – 5 years
Recklessly causing injury
Knowingly possess child pornography
Possession of a drug of dependence (traffickable quantity)
Level 7: Maximum term – 2 years
Going equipped to steal
Level 8: Maximum term – 1 year
Cultivation of a narcotic plant
Possession of a drug of dependence
How Can a Lawyer Help?
Sentencing and punishment for crimes are often harsh and can be brought against adults as well as juveniles. Being involved in the criminal or police process can be quite demanding, rigorous, and time consuming. It is often stressful on both the individual suspected of the crime, and that individual's friends and family. Hiring the right criminal defence law firm can often make a substantial difference in your case.
There is a common misconception that a criminal conviction is only recorded in major matters. This is not the case. In fact, most matters that go before the Court, including drink driving and traffic law matters, will result in a criminal conviction.
If you are concerned about a conviction being recorded against you and the potential impact on your future, speak to a lawyer as soon as possible, and they can advise you on your chances of obtaining a non-conviction order.
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Disclaimer : This article is just a summary of the subject matter being discussed and should not be regarded as a comprehensive legal advice for you to defend yourself alone. If you are charged with criminal offences, it is recommended that you seek legal assistance from criminal lawyers.