Sydeny & Parramatta Criminal Defence Lawyers

Can you plead guilty and not be convicted?

The NSW system of sentencing for criminal and traffic offences provides the Courts with a discretion to deal with criminal and traffic offenders without recording a conviction against them. This discretion was colloquially known as a ‘section 10’. With recent amendments, they are now referred to as a Conditional Release Order without conviction.

Why would I want a non-conviction?

A non-conviction means that the offence will not be formally recorded against you. This means when asked whether you have been convicted of an offence, you can rightfully say ‘no’. This also may help you when it comes to applying for overseas travel.

A non-conviction is also helpful for traffic offences. If you receive a non-conviction for a traffic offence, you will not incur any demerit points, and will not lose your driver licence. This also applies to offences with an automatic loss of licence, such as drink driving.

How can I get a non-conviction?

The first step in the process is obtaining the services of a Criminal Defence lawyer. They can explain the process to you and advise you on your chances of getting a non-conviction.

There are three types of non-conviction orders in NSW:

  1. Dismissal of the charge/s;
  2. Discharge under a Conditional Release Order for a maximum period of 2 years; and
  3. Discharge on the condition that the person participates in an intervention program.

In considering whether to make one of the three orders above, the court must consider the following matters:

  1. Your character, antecedents, age, health and mental condition;
  2. The trivial nature of the offence;
  3. The extenuating circumstances in which the offence was committed; and
  4. Any other matter that the court thinks proper to consider.

One factor that may weigh heavily in your favour is if you have a limited or no criminal record.

It is important to remember that a non-conviction order is never guaranteed. You should consult a Criminal Defence lawyer for the best chance at receiving a non-conviction.

Other resources for first time offenders

Will I go to jail for a first offence

Will I go to jail for a first offence

Article

Read More
What are the penalties for drug possession in NSW?

What are the penalties for drug possession in NSW?

Article

Read More
Is a drink driving charge listed on a criminal record?

Is a drink driving charge listed on a criminal record?

Article

Read More