A description of some of the penalties that may be imposed by South Australian Courts

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This section provides a brief description of some of the penalties that may be imposed by South Australian Courts.


Depending on the type of offence and your financial affordability, a Court may order for you to pay a fine. The Court usually sets out a timeframe for you to pay the fine (e.g. 30 days) which can vary depending on your affordability. The amount of the fine is also dependent on a number of like factors.

Home Detention

Home detention is a much better alternative than imprisonment in a jail. It basically requires the offender to stay at a residence to serve out their prison term. However, not all offenders will be granted a home detention alternative. Offenders must be deemed suitable for home detention.

Home detention is not likely to be available for very serious offences such as murder, manslaughter etc. The offender’s criminal history will also be taken into account when looking at their suitability for home detention.

Nevertheless, the prisoner on home detention will be under very close supervision. Departmental officers can make frequent checks, either in person or by telephone, at any time of the day or night. Prisoners may also have to wear electronic bracelets that track their movements. The prisoner must comply with all conditions of the home detention otherwise the home detention may cease.


This is a common penalty. The term of imprisonment will depend on the type of offence that you have committed.

Suspended Sentence

This is a penalty where a sentence of imprisonment is imposed but the offender is excused from serving that sentence in prison on the condition that they enter into a good behaviour bond for the term of the prison sentence. If the offender fails to be on good behaviour during this time (e.g. by breaching terms of the bond or committing another offence) they may be remanded to prison for the term of the sentence.

Good Behaviour Bond

A good behaviour bond is another alternative to imprisonment. This is a sentence option that may be available where the offender promises to be of good behaviour for a stipulated period of time. This is normally accompanied by a sum of money that the offender must pay. But, for a good behaviour bond to be granted, the Court must be satisfied that a good reason exists for granting the good behaviour bond.

Community Service Order

A community service is available to the Court to impose as a main penalty or as a condition in a good behaviour bond. An order for the community service must not exceed 320 hours and must be a minimum period of 16 hours. The offender must be deemed fit for a community service order by the Court by taking into account the offender’s personal circumstances and the case itself.

Penalties that can be imposed by a court

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Liptak Lawyers
North Adelaide Office

262 Melbourne Street
North Adelaide

Tel : (08) 8123 1808
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