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Section 579 Crimes Act 1900
Evidence of Proceedings Dealt With By Way of Recognizance After 15 Years

Section 579 of the Crimes Act 1900 is Evidence of Proceedings Dealt With By Way of Recognizance After 15 Years and is extracted below.

For expert advice and outstanding representation from Australia’s Most Awarded Criminal Defence Firm, call Sydney Criminal Lawyers® today on (02) 9261 8881 and let our experienced defence team help you.

The Legislation

Section 579 of the Crimes Act 1900 deals with the offence of ‘Evidence of Proceedings Dealt With By Way of Recognizance After 15 Years’ and reads as follows:

579 Evidence of Proceedings Dealt With By Way of Recognizance After 15 Years

(1) Where, following the conviction of any person for an offence or a finding that a charge of an offence has been proved against any person, whether the conviction or finding was before or after the commencement of the Crimes (Amendment) Act 1961 :

(a) sentence in respect of the conviction was suspended or deferred upon the person entering into a recognizance or, in substitution for sentence in respect of the conviction, the person was required to enter into a recognizance, or no conviction in respect of the finding was made and the person was discharged conditionally on his or her entering into a recognizance, and

(b) a period of fifteen years has elapsed since the recognizance was entered into:

(i) without the recognizance having been forfeited during that period or a court having found during that period that the person failed to observe any condition of the recognizance, and

(ii) without the person having, during that period, been convicted of an indictable offence on indictment or otherwise or of any other offence punishable by imprisonment or without a finding during that period that a charge of such an indictable or other offence has been proved against the person,
the conviction or finding shall, where that period expired before the commencement of the Crimes (Amendment) Act 1961 , as on and from that commencement, or, where that period expires or has expired after that commencement, as on and from the expiration of that period:

(c) be disregarded for all purposes whatsoever, and

(d) without prejudice to the generality of paragraph (c), be inadmissible in any criminal, civil or other legal proceedings as being no longer of any legal force or effect. Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provisions of this section, any question asked of or concerning that person in or in relation to any criminal, civil or other legal proceedings otherwise than by his or her Australian legal practitioner, his or her agent or other person acting on his or her behalf may be answered as if the conviction or finding had never taken place or the recognizance had never been entered into.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (1), where in any criminal, civil or other legal proceedings the person first referred to in that subsection, by himself or herself, his or her Australian legal practitioner, his or her agent or other person acting on his or her behalf, otherwise than in answer to a question that can, in accordance with the last paragraph of that subsection, be answered in the negative, makes an assertion that denies the fact that the conviction or finding took place or that the recognizance was entered into, then the conviction, finding or recognizance is admissible:

(a) in those proceedings, as to the character, credit or reputation of the person so referred to,

(b) in any prosecution for perjury or false swearing founded on the assertion. The non-disclosure of the conviction, finding or recognizance in the making or giving of a statement or evidence as to the good character, credit or reputation of the person so referred to shall not of itself be taken, for the purposes of this subsection, to mean that the statement or evidence contains such an assertion.

(3) In this section
“legal proceedings” includes any application for a licence, registration, authority, permit or the like under any statute.

(4) This section does not affect the operation of section 529 (10), or the operation of section 178 (Convictions, acquittals and other judicial proceedings) of the Evidence Act 1995 , for the purposes of section 529 (10).

Why Sydney Criminal Lawyers®?

Being charged with Evidence of Proceedings Dealt With By Way of Recognizance After 15 Years can have a detrimental impact on your life, career and your professional reputation.

But by arming yourself with the best possible defence, you can avoid these potential consequences.

At Sydney Criminal Lawyers®, our lawyers are experts in the field of criminal and traffic law.

Our unparalleled knowledge of the law, coupled with years of experience fighting some of the most difficult criminal cases puts our clients at a leading advantage when it comes to securing a positive outcome in your case.

Our lawyers will carefully examine all the evidence in order to identify any possible weaknesses with the prosecution case.

Where problems are identified, our lawyers can write to police and push to have the charges dropped before your matter reaches a defended hearing.

Alternatively, if you wish to fight the charges in court, our senior lawyers will assist you in identifying and raising any possible defences.

Our experienced advocates will fight hard to win your case by presenting any favourable evidence in a compelling manner in court and casting doubt on the prosecution case.

We offer a FREE first conference with our lawyers to help you understand your options – so give us a call now on (02) 9261 8881 and take the first step in fighting your matter.

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