If you are guilty of a criminal offence you face a number of potential penalties, including having a lifelong criminal record, and in the case of traffic offences, being disqualified from driving.
A criminal conviction can significantly impact your future employment prospects in certain professions, and it can limit your travel and ability to obtain visas in the future.
Gaining a section 10 dismissal or conditional release order means you avoid having a criminal conviction recorded against you, and you won’t face imprisonment, be fined or lose your licence, where applicable.
Do conditions apply?
This is called a ‘section 10 bond’ (now conditional release order without conviction).
Section 10 bonds (now conditional release orders without conviction) can last up to 2 years, and the typical conditions are that:
(1) You must be of good behaviour, which means you must not commit any further criminal offences
(2) You must come to court if asked to do so. But you would normally only be asked to come back to court if you commit a further criminal offence, and
(3) You must notify the court office of any change of address.
If you reoffend while the bond is in force, you will normally be called back to court and resentenced for your original offence; in other words, for the offence for which you got a.
Also, the fact you were on a bond can make the later offence look more serious, and you can get a harsher penalty than if you were not on a bond when you committed it.
The bottom line is: never offend while on a section 10 bond (now conditional release orders without conviction)!
It is up to your lawyer to convince the magistrate to give you a section 10 dismissal or conditional release order, and this is generally done by providing evidence of your character, and demonstrating the impact that a criminal conviction and/or driving disqualification would have on your employment and lifestyle.
- Providing character references from at least three people who know you personally, and can provide examples of your good character. Your lawyer will advise you how to obtain these, and what information needs to be included.
- Letting the magistrate know of any extenuating circumstances that were in place at the time of the offence. This can include difficult life circumstances, personal problems, or anything else out of the ordinary that might have contributed to you committing the offence.
- Addressing any underlying issues that might have played a part. Demonstrating that you are taking steps to address any drug or alcohol issues, or seeking counselling for any personal issues that might have been a factor in the offence, shows the magistrate you understand the seriousness of the charges, and are taking steps to ensure you don’t offend again.
Although it is possible to get a section 10 dismissal or conditional release order for a serious offence, the more trivial the offence, the more likely it is that the magistrate will award a section 10 dismissal or conditional release order.
Here is some more information about section 10 dismissals or conditional release orders, and how Sydney Criminal Lawyers® can help you successfully apply for and obtain a section 10 dismissal or conditional release order for your criminal or traffic charge.