Communtity Law Manual | Criminal Courts | “Three strikes” law for repeated serious violent offending

Sentencing: The judge's decision about punishment

“Three strikes” law for repeated serious violent offending

Sentencing Act 2002, ss 86A-86I

If you are being sentenced for your third serious violent offence, and you received appropriate warnings for each prior serious violent offence, the court must give you the maximum penalty.

“Serious violent offences” include, for example, sexual violation, murder, manslaughter, wounding with intent to injure, kidnapping, robbery, aggravated burglary and committing a crime with a firearm.

When convicted of a first serious violent offence, you must be issued with a warning which outlines the possible future consequences of serious offending. If you then commit a further serious violent offence (apart from murder), you must be given a “final” warning. These warnings do not need to be in a particular format.

If you have previously been convicted of murder and are convicted of murder again (whether this is your second or a later conviction of murder), then you must be sentenced to life in prison without parole (unless the absence of parole would be manifestly unjust).

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