What is a Community Order?

PUBLISHED ON July 19, 2023

If you’ve received a community order, you must understand its requirements to complete the sentence. Community orders often come with a whole host of stipulations depending on the committed crimes’ severity. But what is a community order? Our criminal defence team at Hudson Marshall Solicitors explains how this sentence works. 

Understanding Community Orders

A community order is a sentence that doesn’t require jail or prison time. Instead, the judge may order that a defendant participate in certain activities meant to educate them and prevent them from re-offending again. While community orders do not confine you to jail, they can prohibit your movement or attendance in specific environments. They can also dictate some of your actions while the order is active. 

Why Are Community Orders Imposed?

A judge may pass a community order to sentence a defendant they believe will not likely re-offend. They may also hand down a community order for people who:

  • Committed their first offence 
  • Have a mental health issue that influenced their behaviour
  • Committed a crime that does not warrant a custodial sentence

The court system designs community orders to eliminate a prohibited activity from your lifestyle while pushing you to spend time providing other services that benefit the community. 

Community Order Stipulations

What is a community order, and what stipulations does it include? Your requirements may differ vastly from another person’s. They typically depend on the nature of the crime and its effects on the community in general. The requirements imposed often include:

  • Drug and alcohol treatment for crimes involving substance abuse
  • Unpaid work in the form of community service
  • Fines
  • Mental health treatment
  • Substance abstinence
  • Intensive monitoring
  • Curfews 

Repercussions for Breaching Community Orders

If you don’t fully understand the terms of your community order, you risk breaching it. Compliance failure may lead to one of two outcomes. In the first scenario, you admit your breach and receive a warning that lasts for 12 months. Repeating the breach brings your case back to court. 

You must attend a court hearing if you don’t admit to the breach. Like other cases, the prosecution must prove that you committed the breach beyond a reasonable doubt. Then, the court decides whether that breach occurred based on the evidence presented. 

The court may add other consequences to your sentence if it finds you guilty. 

Consequences for Repeat Offences

Some common consequences for repeated breaches include:

  • Increased fines
  • Added service hours
  • Resentencing often involves a harsher sentence
  • Added time to your community order 

A criminal defence solicitor can help you better understand the terms of your community order and avoid breaches. They can also defend you in case of a falsely or unfairly recorded breach.  

Speak With Hudson Marshall Solicitors About Your Community Order

If you’ve ever asked yourself, “What is a community order?” you need Hudson Marshall Solicitors to assist you in navigating the UK legal system. We’ll advise you on how to meet each regulation and complete your sentence as smoothly as possible. Call us at 0800-368-9939 for a confidential case review.


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