Charged with a criminal offence



NICRO charged with a criminal offence


Have you been charged with a criminal offence? Let NICRO help you out during this tough time, we can offer a wide range of services to you.

 

Diversion

Diversion is a pre-trial service for both adults and children. An offender given a diversion order will not be convicted and will not have a criminal record. The goal of diversion is to divert people away from the criminal justice system, where appropriate, and avoid a trial and a criminal record. Depending on the circumstances of the offence, anyone can be considered for a diversion. The decision normally rests with the public prosecutor, and sometimes the magistrate or judge can order a diversion. We tend to see less serious offences being given diversion. However, diversion has also been ordered for more serious cases as well. Most diversion offenders are aged 15-18 and 30-39. The most common offences for diversion are theft, attempted theft, shoplifting, assault with the intent to commit grievous bodily harm, common assault and possession of narcotics or alcohol. A typical diversion order can consist of community service (20-300 hours), individual counselling, as well as any other intervention offered by NICRO. For more information on the interventions, please click here. A diversion order can last from one to two years. Once the interventions have been successfully completed, the offender will move into the aftercare and tracking phase. Once in this phase, the offender will be tracked at 3 months, 6 months and 12 months intervals.

 

Non-custodial sentencing

Non-custodial sentencing or NCS is a post-trial service for both adults and children. An offender is taken through trial, found guilty and NCS is considered at the sentencing stage as an alternative to prison. The goal of NCS is to keep lower risk offenders away from the prisons. Any category of offence can be considered for NCS. The decision rests with the magistrate or judge as to whether an offender will be given a NCS or a prison sentence. Most NCS offenders are aged between 21-22, 30-39 and 17-18 years. The most common NCS offences are theft, attempted theft, assault with the intent to commit grievous bodily harm, common assault, housebreaking, attempted housebreaking and driving under the influence. A typical NCS sentence can consist of community service (20 – 300 hours), lifeskills, individual counselling, as well as any other intervention offered by NICRO. For more information on the interventions, please click here. A NCS sentence can last from one to two years. Once the interventions have been successfully completed, the offender will move into the aftercare and tracking phase. Once in this phase, the offender will be tracked at 3 months, 6 months and 12 months intervals. Offender compliance is strictly monitored. If an offender is found to be non-compliant, they will receive a warning and an opportunity to return to the service. If they do not, the social worker will write and submit an affidavit to the court. The court will then decide to issue a warrant for arrest or a summons to court. The offender will then have to explain his or her conduct before the magistrate or judge. Serious non-compliance may result in the offender’s sentence being converted to a prison sentence. NCS referrals come only from courts.

 

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