Day Reporting Order: Eligibility and Offender’s Obligations

Last updated on November 9, 2020

Upset woman sitting on a sofa with her face in her hands being comforted by another woman

What is a Day Reporting Order (DRO)?

A Day Reporting Order (DRO) is a type of community-based sentence available for certain potentially less serious offences in Singapore, such as theft, traffic offences, and mischief. It is an alternative sentence to a fine, caning and/or jail term.

This article will also cover:

What Is the Purpose of a Day Reporting Order?

DROs are aimed at rehabilitating low-risk, first-time offenders. Offenders sentenced to a DRO will therefore undergo a tailored rehabilitation plan. As part of this plan, they will work with a correctional rehabilitation specialist from the Singapore Prison Service who will provide counselling and help the offender with employment matters.

Offenders will also be required to report to a day reporting officer at a day reporting centre on a regular basis (e.g. once a week). As long as they abide by the DRO and do not commit further offences, offenders are free to carry on with their lives for the remaining duration of the DRO. However, they may still have to comply with additional restrictions, such as being electronically monitored or having to abide by a curfew.

Can a Day Reporting Order be made in addition to another sentence?

When a DRO is passed, it will be in lieu of any jail term, caning, or fine which the court may impose for the offence committed.

Courts may also choose to impose a suspended jail term for the offence in order to further deter the offender from breaching the DRO. The suspended jail term will not take effect unless the offender breaches the DRO. In other words, if the offender successfully completes his DRO, he will not be sent to jail for the offence.

DROs can be passed in combination with other community-based sentences. For example, Yin Zi Qin was sentenced to 3 community-based sentences for an offence of voluntarily causing hurt. These community-based sentences are namely:

  1. A DRO for a period of 5 months;
  2. A Community Service Order of 80 hours; and
  3. A Short Detention Order of 12 days.

It should also be noted that if the offender breaches the DRO, the court has the power to vary or revoke the orders made, and to resentence the offender for his initial offence (e.g. to a fine, caning and/or jail term).

Who Is/Is Not Eligible for a Day Reporting Order?

An offender is generally eligible for a DRO if:

  1. The statutory restrictions listed under section 337(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) do not apply to him or his offence (see below);
  2. He is 16 years of age or above; and
  3. The court is satisfied that having regard to the circumstances, including the nature of the offence and the offender’s character, it is expedient to grant a DRO.

Examples of restrictions under section 337(1) of the CPC include cases where:

  • The sentence for the offence committed is fixed by law (i.e. the sentence is fixed in duration or amount payable, and in type)
  • There is a mandatory minimum sentence of fine, caning or jail term (i.e. there is a minimum duration or amount payable prescribed for the sentence, and it is compulsory for the court to impose it)
  • There is a specified minimum sentence of caning or jail term  (i.e. it is not compulsory for the court to impose such a sentence on you but if it does, then there is a minimum duration of sentence that it has to impose)
  • The offence is punishable with a jail term which exceeds 3 years
  • The offence is punishable by a fine only
  • The offender has previously been sentenced to jail for more than 3 months
  • The offender was previously sentenced to reformative training, corrective training, or preventive detention

How Does the Court Decide Whether to Grant a Day Reporting Order?

As mentioned above, the court will grant a DRO only if it is satisfied that it is appropriate to do so when considering the circumstances, including the nature of the offence and the offender’s character. To this end, the court will generally consider:

  1. Whether the offence is so serious such that a harsher sentence would be more appropriate.
  2. Whether there is a high chance of the offender reoffending, such that harsher punishment is required to deter him from doing so.
  3. Whether a harsher punishment is required to deter others from committing the same offence.

When deciding whether to grant a DRO, the court must call for a report from a day reporting officer on the effectiveness of counselling and rehabilitation on the offender. The court will also consider recommendations made by the corrections specialist. However, it still has the discretion to grant a DRO even if the report states that providing counselling and rehabilitation under the DRO may not be effective.

For example, in one case, Abdul Qayyum bin Abdul Razak joined a group of friends to attack a victim. As a result, the victim sustained a cut below his eye. The offender pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawful assembly. In sentencing the offender to the DRO, the court considered that:

  1. The corrections specialist had assessed the offender and found him suitable for a DRO
  2. The offender had remained crime-free since the commission of the offence 21 months earlier
  3. In those 21 months, the offender also kept regular employment and endeavoured to improve his employment status
  4. He had a young, largely intact family with a supportive wife, which gave him the strongest possible reason to want to reform himself
  5. He had secured a rental flat to provide a stable home for his family, which helped indicate that he was capable of reform

Do note that the court may consider relevant factors other than the 5 listed here, depending on the facts of the case. It is also not necessary for any one above factor to be present for a DRO to be granted.

What Happens if a Day Reporting Order Is Granted?

If the court decides to grant a DRO, the court will explain to the offender in ordinary language:

  • The purpose and effect of the DRO (including the offender’s obligations under it, as explained below);
  • The consequences of breaching the DRO; and
  • That the court has the power to vary or revoke the order upon the application of the day reporting officer.

Obligations of the offender

DROs can range from 3 to 12 months in length.

The specific obligations of the offender will be laid out in the DRO itself. Generally, the offender must:

  • Report to the day reporting officer as required
  • Undergo counselling and rehabilitation programmes as required
  • Notify the day reporting officer of any change in his address or employment status
  • Give the day reporting officer any information relating to his daily routines or whereabouts upon request
  • Not assault, threaten, insult, or use abusive language to the day reporting officer

The court may also impose further conditions as it sees fit.

For example, a DRO may require the offender’s whereabouts to be electronically monitored during the period of the order. Additionally, the court may require the offender to furnish security (usually a suitable sum of money) to ensure that the offender complies with the order.

What Can Happen if You Fail to Comply With the Terms of the Day Reporting Order?

If, without reasonable excuse, you fail to comply with any of the obligations under the DRO, the court may do any of the following:

  • Issue a summons directing you to appear in court, or issue a warrant for your arrest
  • Issue you a warning, vary the DRO, or impose on you a fine of up to $1,000
  • Make an order for you to be detained in prison for up to 14 days
  • Forfeit the security furnished (if you previously furnished security)
  • Revoke the DRO and impose any sentence which is provided for the offence you committed

If you commit another offence while on a DRO, the court may revoke the DRO and impose any sentence that has been prescribed for the offence.

You should also note that if the court had imposed a suspended jail term together with the DRO and you breach the DRO or commit a further offence, the court will revoke the community order, and the suspended jail term will take effect (as mentioned above).

If You Have Been Sentenced to a Day Reporting Order, Will You Have a Criminal Record?

If you successfully complete the DRO, your criminal record for that offence will be considered spent. This means that you will be deemed to not have such a record, and in most situations, you can lawfully say that you have no criminal record.

However, you must still answer “yes” if you are asked if you have ever been convicted in a court of law.

Ultimately, you should note that this article cannot tell you precisely when an offender will get a DRO. Even if an offender is eligible for a DRO, the issues of whether a DRO will be granted, what combination of community-based sentences are passed, as well as the exact terms and length of the orders, are all at the discretion of the court. Much depends on the exact facts of the case.

If you have been charged with an offence in Singapore and are seeking a DRO, do consider getting in touch with our criminal lawyers for assistance. A good criminal lawyer can advise you on your eligibility for a DRO, and help you get the best possible outcome for your case.

Arrest and Investigation
  1. Police Investigation Process in Singapore
  2. Arrestable and Non-Arrestable Offences in Singapore
  3. Police Arrest Procedure in Singapore
  4. Can the Public Make a Citizen's Arrest in Singapore?
  5. Is Lying to the Police or Authorities an Offence in Singapore?
  6. Surrender of Passport to the Police and How to Get It Back
  7. What to Do If You’re Being Investigated for a Criminal Offence in Singapore
  8. Can You Say No to a Lie Detector Test in Singapore? And Other FAQs
  9. What Should You Do If You Witness a Crime in Singapore?
  10. "Right to Remain Silent" to Singapore Police: Does It Exist?
  11. Extradition: What If I Flee After Committing Crime in Singapore
  12. Arrest Warrant Issued Against You in Singapore: What to Do
  13. Search Warrant: The Issuance and Execution of It in Singapore
  14. Police Custody in Singapore: What You Should Know
Bail
  1. The Essential Guide to Bail and Personal Bonds in Singapore
Prosecution
  1. Magistrate’s Complaints, Private Summons and Private Prosecutions in Singapore
  2. Prosecutorial Discretion in Singapore
  3. What is Private Prosecution?
  4. Compounding or Composition of Offences in Singapore
  5. Criminal Records in Singapore
  6. Plea Bargaining in Singapore: All You Need to Know
Criminal Proceedings
  1. Compensation for Crime Victims in Singapore: How to Obtain
  2. Using Your Right to Self-Defence When Attacked in Singapore
  3. Claiming Trial as an Accused
  4. Mitigation Plea: How to Plead for Leniency in Court in Singapore
  5. Pleading Guilty in Singapore: Consequences & Withdrawal of Plea
  6. Guide to Filing a Criminal Appeal in Singapore
  7. Presidential Clemency in Singapore
  8. Probation: Eligibility and Whether It Leaves a Criminal Record
  9. Reformative Training in Singapore: When Will It be Ordered?
  10. Visiting a Loved One in Prison or On Death Row in Singapore
  11. 7 Detention Orders in Singapore: When Will They be Ordered?
  12. Consequences of Receiving a Stern Warning in Singapore
  13. Are You Eligible for a Mandatory Treatment Order (MTO)?
  14. Can I Represent Myself in a Criminal Court Case in Singapore and How?
  15. Caning in Singapore: Judicial, School & Parental Corporal Punishment
  16. Criminal Motion: What is It and How to File One in Singapore
  17. Getting Parole (Early Prison Release) in Singapore
  18. Repatriation or Deportation from Singapore: How Does It Work?
  19. How Can Adult Offenders Get Probation in Singapore?
  20. Guide to Filing a Criminal Revision in Singapore
  21. Day Reporting Order: Eligibility and Offender's Obligations
  22. The Defence of Unsound Mind in Singapore: What is It?
Sexual Offences
  1. Legal Age for Sex in Singapore and Common Sexual Offences
  2. Accused of Molest: Outrage of Modesty in Singapore
  3. What Can Victims of Sexual Harassment in Singapore Do?
  4. What is the Law on Sexting in Singapore?
  5. Revenge Porn: What If Your Nudes are Leaked in Singapore?
  6. Crime of Voyeurism in Singapore (Penalties and Defences)
  7. Consent in Sexual Offences in Singapore and What Victims Can Do
  8. STDs: Can I Go to the Police If a Partner Infected Me in Singapore?
  9. Child Pornography in Singapore: Offences and Penalties
  10. Date Rape: What to Do If Your Drink Has Been Unlawfully Spiked?
Vice-Related Offences
  1. Is it illegal to visit prostitutes in Singapore?
  2. Is Watching, Downloading or Filming Porn Illegal in Singapore?
  3. Singapore's Drug Laws: Possession, Consumption and Trafficking
  4. Gambling Legally (In Public or Online) in Singapore
  5. Is Vaping Illegal in Singapore?
  6. DUI: Here are the Penalties for Drink-Driving in Singapore
  7. Legal Drinking Age and Drinking-Related Laws in Singapore
  8. Singapore's Legal Smoking Age & Common Smoking Offences
  9. The Offence of Human Trafficking in Singapore and Its Penalties
Cybercrime
  1. Penalties for Cheating/Scamming and What Victims Can Do
White-Collar Crimes
  1. Criminal Breach of Trust (CBT) in Singapore: What is It?
  2. Dishonest assistance and knowing receipt - The case of David Rasif
  3. Anti-Money Laundering Laws and You
  4. All You Need to Know About Corruption in Singapore
  5. 5 Things You Need to Know about Insider Trading
Other Criminal Offences
  1. Murder vs Culpable Homicide in Singapore (and Penalties)
  2. Is Suicide Illegal in Singapore? Will I Be Punished for Trying?
  3. Is it illegal to feed stray animals in Singapore?
  4. Criminal Intimidation: Penalties for Making Threats in Singapore
  5. Penalties for Impersonating Someone and Victim Redress
  6. What are Sham Marriages and Are They Illegal in Singapore?
  7. Public Assemblies and Processions in Singapore: Police Permits and the Public Order Act
  8. Racial Enmity: Sections 298 and 298A Penal Code Explained
  9. Penalties for Unlawful Assembly and Rioting in Singapore
  10. Voluntarily Causing Hurt Penalties in Singapore (Non-Arrestable)
  11. Misbehaving in Public: 5 Things You Need to Know
  12. Is it Legal for Drivers to Carpool in Singapore?
  13. Guide to E-Scooter and PMD Laws for Singapore Riders
  14. Is Joining a Gang Illegal in Singapore?: Being Recruited and Penalties
  15. What Happens If You’re Caught Speeding in Singapore?
  16. Charged with a Traffic Offence in Singapore: What to Do
  17. Penalties for Committing Theft in Singapore
  18. Road Rage: What is It and How are Offenders Sentenced in Singapore
  19. Singapore Fake News Laws: Guide to POFMA (Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act)
  20. Laws and Penalties for Doxxing in Singapore (With Examples)
  21. Penalties for Littering and Killer Litter Offences in Singapore
  22. Organised Crimes: Penalties/Orders Syndicates Face in Singapore
  23. Singapore Animal Abuse Offences, Penalties & How to Report
  24. Penalties for Dishonest Misappropriation of Property in Singapore
  25. Here are the Penalties for Committing Forgery in Singapore
  26. Penalties for Financing Terrorist Operations in Singapore
  27. Penalties for Illegal Immigration and Overstaying in Singapore
  28. Vandalism: Penalties for Damaging Property in Singapore
  29. Kidnapping Scam: Penalties & Responding to a ‘Kidnap Call/Text'
  30. Religious Cults in Singapore: Are they Illegal? Penalties & More
  31. Committing Robbery in Singapore: What are the Penalties?
  32. Criminal Trespass in Singapore: What Happens If You’re Caught?
Certificate of Clearance
  1. How Do You Apply for a Certificate of Clearance in Singapore?