A conditional sentence order is a type of sentence that is imposed by a court as an alternative to imprisonment. It involves the imposition of both a custodial (jail) sentence and a community sentence, with the requirement that the community sentence be served in the community under strict conditions. The community sentence can include things like community service, probation, electronic monitoring, or a curfew, depending on the specific conditions imposed by the court.
The custodial sentence is suspended as long as the offender complies with the community sentence conditions, but if the offender violates any of the conditions, the custodial sentence can be activated, and the offender may be required to serve time in jail.
Conditional sentence orders are typically used for less serious offenses where the offender poses a low risk to the community and has no prior criminal record. They are designed to provide a more flexible and rehabilitative approach to sentencing, allowing offenders to serve their sentence in the community while addressing the underlying causes of their offending behavior.
What Conditions Should I Expect on a CSO?
The specific conditions of a conditional sentence order will vary depending on the nature of the offence and the individual circumstances of the case. However, some typical conditions that may be imposed on a conditional sentence order include:
- Reporting regularly to a probation officer or other designated person
- Completing a specified number of hours of community service
- Refraining from consuming drugs or alcohol
- Attending counseling or treatment programs, such as anger management or substance abuse treatment
- Obeying a house arrest and/or a curfew
- Wearing an electronic monitoring device
- Maintaining employment or education
- Paying restitution or fines
- Not contacting certain individuals or visiting certain places
It is important to note that violating any of the conditions of a conditional sentence order can result in the custodial sentence being activated, meaning you may be required to serve time in jail.