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  • Writer's pictureShaun Pascoe

Understanding Victoria's Mandatory and Presumptive Sentencing Laws

Updated: Feb 26

For indictable offences not capable of being heard and determined in the Magistrates' Court, Victoria's sentencing laws provide for mandatory and presumptive sentencing.


Some offences require the Sentencing Judge to adhere to a standard sentencing scheme and these offences include:


  • murder

  • homicide by firearm

  • rape

  • culpable driving causing death

  • trafficking in a large commercial quantity of a drug of dependence

  • sexual offences involving children.


Other offences presume imprisonment unless the offender can satisfy a narrow exception. These offences include:


  • manslaughter

  • child homicide

  • causing serious injury intentionally

  • kidnapping

  • arson causing death

  • trafficking in a commercial quantity of a drug of dependence

  • cultivation of a commercial quantity of a narcotic plant

  • providing documents or information facilitating terrorist acts.

  • intentionally exposing an emergency worker, custodial officer or youth justice custodial worker to risk by driving

  • armed robbery (where a firearm was used, a victim suffered injury or the offence was committed in company)

  • home invasion

  • carjacking

  • culpable driving causing death

  • dangerous driving causing death.


For a good and detailed summary of the various sentencing schemes under the Sentencing Act 1981 (Vic) see the Sentencing Advisory Council article here.

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