Are You Eligible for a Mandatory Treatment Order (MTO)?
What is a Mandatory Treatment Order (MTO)?
A Mandatory Treatment Order (MTO) is targeted at non-habitual offenders who, as a result of suffering from certain mental/psychiatric conditions, committed the criminal offence in question.
Instead of serving jail time, eligible and suitable offenders of an MTO will be directed to undergo psychiatric treatment at a psychiatric institution, i.e. the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), for up to 36 months.
An MTO is one of the Community-Based Sentencing (CBS) options. CBS was designed to provide courts with more flexibility in sentencing, apart from the traditional sentences such as imprisonment or fine.
Upon completion of the MTO, the offender’s criminal record will be spent, i.e. the offender will be deemed to not have a criminal record with respect to this offence.
If you are accused of an offence, read on to find out more on whether you are eligible for an MTO.
What Does Undergoing an MTO Entail?
If you are subject to an MTO, you will be required to attend mental health treatment sessions at IMH. You must also comply with any instructions or conditions given by the court and their appointed psychiatrist.
You may also be required to stay in IMH itself to receive in-patient treatment, for either the entire or part of the stated duration of the MTO.
What Are the Offences That Are Excluded From Being Considered for an MTO?
Not all offences can be considered for MTOs. The courts cannot grant an MTO in certain situations, such as where:
- The offence has a fixed sentence by law, meaning the court has no discretion as to the type of sentence, as the sentence is already specified by statute;
- The offence has a mandatory or specified minimum sentence of imprisonment, thus the court must impose the minimum period of imprisonment as prescribed by statute;
- The offender had previously been sentenced to corrective training or preventive detention;
- The offence is a fine-only offence;
- The offence is punishable with imprisonment for more than 7 years; or
- The offence will leave a criminal record that cannot be spent
What Are the Offences That May Be Considered for an MTO?
Regardless of the above-mentioned exceptions, the court may still make an order for MTO in accordance with section 339 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) even if the offender:
- Had previously been sentenced to an imprisonment term exceeding 3 months (excluding an imprisonment term served in default of fine);
- Had been admitted to an approved institution under section 34 of the Misuse of Drugs Act or approved centre under section 17 of the Intoxicating Substances Act at least twice;
- Had been admitted to an approved centre or institution at least once;
- Had previously been admitted to an approved institution or centre and is now facing an offence under the Misuse of Drug Act, the Misuse of Drugs Regulations or the Intoxicating Substances Act; or
- Is punishable with imprisonment for more than 3 years but up to 7 years and is prescribed.
Deciding On the Offender’s Eligibility for an MTO
The court will assess and decide on the eligibility of the offender based on the final report submitted by the court-appointed psychiatrist on this matter.
In order for the psychiatrist to produce the report, you may be remanded for observation in a psychiatric institution for a period of up to 3 weeks or periods as the court thinks necessary, or be ordered to attend an assessment in IMH.
You may also choose to appoint your own psychiatrist to make a report on your eligibility for an MTO within 3 weeks from the date the court has called for a report. The court-appointed psychiatrist will then take your psychiatrist’s report into consideration when writing and submitting their final report to the court.
An offender will be eligible for an MTO if the final report reflects that the offender:
- Suffers from a psychiatric condition;
- Is susceptible to treatment;
- Is suitable to receive treatment (see below);
- Committed the offence at least partly due to the psychiatric condition.
Factors that the psychiatrist should consider when assessing your suitability of treatment include:
- The likeliness of you attending the required treatment sessions;
- Your physical and mental state; and
- Whether you have the financial means to make full/partial payments for the treatments received.
After assessing the final report, which must also include the psychiatrist stating that he is satisfied that you should be issued an MTO, the court has to explain to you the purpose, effect and consequences of breaching the order before making such an order.
Further, it should also be made clear that the order may be varied or revoked by the court.
Consequences for Breaching MTO Conditions
If you are reported to have breached the conditions set out by the court in the MTO, the court may fix a hearing date to confirm whether this is so.
To have you attend the hearing, the court may issue a summons (to direct you to appear before the court) or a warrant for your arrest (if the court is satisfied you may not appear, or have failed to appear upon the issuance of a summons).
Where the court is satisfied that you have indeed breached the MTO conditions, the court may then proceed to:
- Issue you a warning;
- Modify your obligations under the MTO, such as by extending the period of psychiatric treatment;
- Impose a fine of up to $1,000 on you; or
- Revoke the MTO order and impose an appropriate sentence for the offence, while giving due consideration to the degree of your compliance with the MTO.
Do note that if the court had previously imposed and suspended a sentence of imprisonment to the offence in question, before making the MTO order, the court must revoke the MTO order.
Re-Offending While Undergoing Treatment
Should you be convicted of another offence while undergoing treatment as directed by an MTO, the court may fix a hearing date to confirm your conviction. It may also issue a summons or warrant for your arrest to ensure you attend the hearing.
Where the court finds that you have indeed re-offended, the court may revoke the MTO and impose an appropriate sentence for the offence, while giving due consideration to the degree of your compliance with the MTO.
Should you require further information on your suitability for an MTO with regard to a specific offence, do consider seeking legal advice from one of our criminal lawyers.
- How to Write a Letter of Representation to AGC in Singapore
- What is Entrapment and is It Legal in Singapore?
- Juvenile Crime: What If Your Child is Arrested in Singapore?
- Police Investigation Process in Singapore
- Arrest Warrant Issued Against You in Singapore: What to Do
- Police Arrest Procedure in Singapore
- Arrestable and Non-Arrestable Offences in Singapore
- What Should You Do If You Witness a Crime in Singapore?
- Can the Public Make a Citizen's Arrest in Singapore?
- What to Do If You’re Being Investigated for a Criminal Offence in Singapore
- "Right to Remain Silent" to Singapore Police: Does It Exist?
- Police Custody in Singapore: What You Should Know
- Search Warrant: The Issuance and Execution of It in Singapore
- Penalties for Lying to the Authorities in Singapore
- Can You Say No to a Lie Detector Test in Singapore? And Other FAQs
- Surrender of Passport to the Police and How to Get It Back
- Extradition: What If I Flee After Committing Crime in Singapore
- What is Acquittal & How Can One Be Acquitted in Singapore?
- Can I Represent Myself in a Criminal Court Case in Singapore and How?
- Claiming Trial as an Accused
- Pleading Guilty in Singapore: Consequences & Withdrawal of Plea
- The Defence of Unsound Mind in Singapore: What is It?
- Gag Orders in Singapore: Whose Identity Can be Protected?
- Mitigation Plea: How to Plead for Leniency in Court in Singapore
- Recidivism: What Happens If You Reoffend in Singapore?
- Guide to Filing a Criminal Appeal in Singapore
- Criminal Motion: What is It and How to File One in Singapore
- Guide to Filing a Criminal Revision in Singapore
- Presidential Clemency in Singapore
- Repatriation or Deportation from Singapore: How Does It Work?
- Criminal Records in Singapore
- Visiting a Loved One in Prison or On Death Row in Singapore
- Getting Parole (Early Prison Release) in Singapore
- How Long Is Life Imprisonment in Singapore? And Other FAQs
- Corrective Training and Its Consequences in Singapore
- Consequences of Receiving a Stern Warning in Singapore
- Probation: Eligibility and Whether It Leaves a Criminal Record
- How Can Adult Offenders Get Probation in Singapore?
- Reformative Training in Singapore: When Will It be Ordered?
- Are You Eligible for a Mandatory Treatment Order (MTO)?
- Caning in Singapore: Judicial, School & Parental Corporal Punishment
- 7 Detention Orders in Singapore: When Will They be Ordered?
- Day Reporting Order: Eligibility and Offender's Obligations
- Ragging and Bullying: Their Penalties and What Victims Can Do
- Laws Protecting Informers/Whistleblowers in Singapore
- Counterfeit Medicine/Health Products: Redress for Victims in Singapore
- Using Your Right to Self-Defence When Attacked in Singapore
- Compensation for Crime Victims in Singapore: How to Obtain
- Rape Laws in Singapore and How Offenders Can Be Punished
- Sexual Misconduct in Singapore: Offences and What Victims Can Do
- Falsely Accused of Rape in Singapore: What to Do
- Incest and Family Sexual Abuse: Penalties and Victim Protection
- How are Sexual Offenders with Special Needs Penalised?
- Legal Age for Sex in Singapore and Common Sexual Offences
- Consent in Sexual Offences in Singapore and What Victims Can Do
- Accused of Molest: Outrage of Modesty in Singapore
- What Can Victims of Sexual Harassment in Singapore Do?
- What is the Law on Sexting in Singapore?
- Revenge Porn: What If Your Nudes are Leaked in Singapore?
- Crime of Voyeurism in Singapore (Penalties and Defences)
- Date Rape: What to Do If Your Drink Has Been Unlawfully Spiked?
- STDs: Can I Go to the Police If a Partner Infected Me in Singapore?
- Singapore's Legal Smoking Age & Common Smoking Offences
- Is Vaping Illegal in Singapore?
- Legal Drinking Age and Drinking-Related Laws in Singapore
- Is Watching, Downloading or Filming Porn Illegal in Singapore?
- Child Pornography in Singapore: Offences and Penalties
- Laws on Procuring Sex Workers & Sexual Services in Singapore
- Singapore's Drug Laws: Possession, Consumption and Trafficking
- Gambling Legally (In Public or Online) in Singapore
- The Offence of Human Trafficking in Singapore and Its Penalties
- Penalties for Committing Theft in Singapore
- Committing Robbery in Singapore: What are the Penalties?
- Penalties for Dishonest Misappropriation of Property in Singapore
- Vandalism Laws: Penalties for Damaging Property in Singapore
- Criminal Trespass in Singapore: What Happens If You’re Caught?
- Penalties for Littering and Killer Litter Offences in Singapore
- Charged with a Traffic Offence in Singapore: What to Do
- DUI: Here are the Penalties for Drink-Driving in Singapore
- What Happens If You’re Caught Speeding in Singapore?
- Road Rage: What is It and How are Offenders Sentenced in Singapore
- Penalties for Dangerous Driving for Singapore Drivers
- Fatal Traffic Accidents: Are Drivers Always Punished?
- Guide to E-Scooter and PMD Laws for Singapore Riders
- Is it Legal for Drivers to Carpool in Singapore?
- Radicalisation and Terror Attack-Related Penalties in Singapore
- Public Assemblies and Processions in Singapore
- Misbehaving in Public: 5 Things You Need to Know
- Racial Enmity: Sections 298 and 298A Penal Code Explained
- Religious Cults in Singapore: Are they Illegal? Penalties & More
- Penalties for Financing Terrorist Operations in Singapore
- Here are the Penalties for Committing Forgery in Singapore
- Arson and Fire-Related Offences and Their Penalties in Singapore
- Laws on Prohibited, Replica and Self-Defence Weapons
- Expats Charged With Offences in Singapore: What to Expect
- What are the Penalties for Hiring Phantom Workers in Singapore?
- Penalties for Illegal Immigration and Overstaying in Singapore
- Criminal Intimidation: Penalties for Making Threats in Singapore