If you plead guilty or are found guilty of an offence you can still avoid a criminal conviction if you get a section 10.
Under section 10 the Court has the power to dismiss a charge either conditionally or unconditionally or require you to take part in an Intervention Program.
On 24 September 2018 changes were made to the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 which give the Court the power to dismiss a charge without recording a conviction on the condition you comply with a Conditional Release Order.
If you receive a Conditional Release Order (‘CRO’) under section 10 you leave the court without a conviction but are subject to conditions determined by the court for the duration of the CRO. The standard conditions imposed are that you must not commit an offence and you must be available to appear before the court, if called, at any time during the term of the CRO. The court can also impose additional conditions to the CRO, such as requiring you to:
participate in a rehabilitation program or other treatment
abstain from alcohol or drugs or both
not associate with certain people,
not frequent or visit certain places or areas
be supervised by a community corrections officer or a juvenile justice officer (depending on the age of the defendant)
Section 10 with Intervention Program
A Section 10 Intervention Program is an order that you complete an intervention program (for example the Traffic Offenders program) and comply with any action plan that results from that program.
Section 10 and traffic matters
If you are granted a Section 10 for a driving offence you will not be disqualified from driving nor will you receive a fine or demerit points for the offence.
Getting a Section 10
When considering whether to give you a Section 10 the court must take the following into consideration:
The defendants age, character, record, health and mental condition
Whether the offence could be said to be trivial
Any extenuating circumstances
Anything else the Court thinks is relevant
To maximise your chance of getting a s.10, and therefore avoiding a criminal conviction, it is essential that your case is carefully prepared and presented.
Contact William Vahl of North Shore Criminal Law, Accredited Criminal Law Specialist, for expert legal advice on your case. Call 24/7 on 0400 44 64 34.