Getting a section 10
Most people know about section 10, but fewer people know how to actually get one.
Section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 allows for a Court, to discharge an offender without recording a conviction. This means the person avoids having a criminal record for that offence and that no penalty is imposed.
A section 10 can be imposed either after a person has pleaded guilty, or after being found guilty at a hearing.
A court can impose a section 10 by immediately dismissing the charges, or by placing the person on a conditional release order for a period of time.
A section 10 is not recorded on your criminal or traffic record. The result often helps people with their future or present employment, and avoids complications with overseas travel.
A section 10 can often help a person retain their driver’s licence, as it means that the disqualification, or demerit points for the offence are also not imposed.
However, a section 10 is not an easy result to achieve. A section 10 will not always be considered in all criminal matters.
In assessing whether to deal with the matter under section 10, the court can consider:
- the person’s character, antecedents, age, health and mental condition;
- the trivial nature of the offence;
- the extenuating circumstances in which the offence was committed; and
- any other matter that the court thinks proper to consider.
An experienced criminal defence lawyer can often prove the difference between leaving court with a clean record, or a conviction.
Don’t risk your future. Contact Hennikers to get expert advice and to discuss if a section 10 is a possibility in your case.