Children and criminal records

A children’s’ Local Court Magistrate does not have the power to record a conviction against a person under 16 years old. A child who is dealt with by warning, caution or conference under the Young Offenders Act 1997 (NSW) cannot have a conviction recorded against them.

For serious offences dealt with by higher courts, such as the District Court, children of any age may have a conviction recorded against them (Section 14 of the Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987 (NSW).

Juvenile matters where there has been a finding of guilt, but no conviction, may still be taken into account by a court when sentencing the person for further offences. However, an adult court cannot take these matters into account if the person has been out of trouble for two years immediately before committing the adult offence (Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987 (NSW) s15).

If you have been charged with an offence, or are seeking further information on a juvenile legal matter, call North Shore Criminal Law on (02) 9955 2298 or our 24 hour Emergency Service on 0400 44 64 24 to speak to an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist.