Section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999
No Conviction Recorded
A Court sentencing an offender after a guilty plea or a finding of guilt may exercise its discretion not to record a criminal conviction and proceed to dismiss the charge with or without conditions by way of section 10.
What does Section 10 mean?
Section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 allows the Court to discharge an offender without a criminal conviction being recorded by doing one of three things:
- 1. Outright Dismissal of relevant charge (ie no conditions are imposed);
- 2. Discharge the offender on condition that the person enter into a good behaviour bond for up to 2 years; or
- 3. Discharge the offender on condition that the offender participate in an intervention program.
Section 10 good behaviour bond
Where the Court does exercise its discretion to deal with the matter pursuant to section 10, it is most common to place the offender on a bond, requiring the offender to be of good behaviour and appear before the court if called upon to do so. If a condition of the bond is breached, the Court can revoke the bond and resentence the offender for which the bond relates including recording a conviction.
When will a Court deal with an offender by way of section 10?
In deciding whether to make an order under section 10, the Court must consider a range of factors set out in the legislation including the following:
- • The offender’s character, antecedents, age, health and mental condition;
- • The trivial nature of the offence;
- • The extenuating circumstances in which the offence was committed; and
- • Other matters that the court thinks proper to consider
Even where an offence is not considered “trivial”, the Court may still exercise its discretion to dismiss the matter under section 10. However, it must be said that where an offence is objectively serious the scope of obtaining an outcome under section 10 is diminished.
The provision under section 10 enables the Court to provide offenders in appropriate circumstances with an opportunity to maintain their reputation of good character whilst ensuring that justice can be served. Particularly, where the consequences of recording a conviction greatly exceed the requirements of punishment and deterrence, the court may choose to deal with the offender under section 10.
Bainbridge Legal - your best chance at obtaining a section 10
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At Bainbridge Legal we have a wealth of knowledge as to sentencing options and outcomes having represented clients in a range of criminal law matters. We have successfully assisted many clients to achieve dismissals without recorded convictions in matters including drink driving, assaults, stalk intimidate, possess drugs, breach AVO. We will fight fearlessly to achieve the best results for you. Call us and speak with one of our experts today.