If you are facing a potential prison sentence, it is best to be prepared.
This means taking a number of things into consideration before your court date in Sydney.
If you are sentenced to a prison term, you will be taken directly from the court to a correctional centre in Sydney, so make sure you have made the necessary arrangements in advance, particularly if you have family that might be impacted by you being away.
If you are facing the likelihood of a prison sentence, it can be a difficult and overwhelming time, but preparing in advance can make a big difference to your level of debt when you are released, as well as help alleviate stress and financial difficulties for your family members.
Here are a few things you will need to think about before you go to court.
If you rent, you will need to tell your landlord and either give notice so that you can get your bond back, or make arrangements to pay your rent while you are away.
If you own your home, consider how you are going to make your mortgage repayments and whether it is possible to take a break from repayments for a certain period of time.
Make sure you let your employer know that you are likely to be gone so they can make alternative arrangements, if necessary.
If you are on Centrelink benefits you will need to advise them if you are in prison, as you will not be eligible for benefits while you are incarcerated.
Continuing to receive payments while you are in prison can lead to debts and legal problems when you are released.
Furniture and personal belongings
You may need to arrange storage for furniture and personal possessions, particularly if you are moving out of rental accommodation.
It is worth considering where you will keep your furniture and other important belongings while you are away.
Car or other vehicle
If you have a car or other vehicle, you need to decide whether it is best to sell it, or store it while you are away.
If a family member uses your vehicle on a regular basis and it is in your name, you might want to change the registration over to them.
If you have utilities in your name, you might end up facing debts when you are released from prison.
Either have your utilities put into someone else’s name, or arrange with the utilities company to authorise someone else to act on your behalf.
If you take any regular medication, you might need to get a prescription from your doctor and make sure you take it with you on the day of your court appearance.
Make sure you also bring your Medicare card with you to court.
Be prepared before you attend court
On the day of your sentencing, ensure you are prepared by bringing cash, your Medicare card, ID and any bank cards you have, as well as phone numbers of friends and family, and your lawyer.
If you are sentenced to prison, you will be taken directly from court, so make sure you have everything you need with you at the time.
You will not have access to your mobile phone while in prison, so ensure that any phone numbers you need are written down.
Preparing for a term in a correctional centre in Sydney can be difficult, but with a bit of advance planning you can help make things go more smoothly for your family and reduce the likelihood of building up debts while you are gone.