Our specialist criminal lawyers have ample years of experience in achieving section 10 dismissals with no criminal record for our clients despite pleading guilty to, or being found guilty of, a criminal offence or traffic offence.
Another type of ‘non conviction order’ (no criminal record) is a Conditional Release Order without a Conviction, is an order under Section 9 of Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999.
What is a Section 10 Dismissal?
A Section 10 is an order by the Court to dismiss a charge without a criminal record.
Section 10(1) of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 identifies the following three orders which may be made when a court decides not to convict an offender:
Dismissal of charges and conditional discharge of offender, without proceeding to conviction, a court finds that a person is guilty of an offence may make any one of the following orders-
- S 10(1)(a) order, dismissing the relevant charges
- S 10(1)(b) order, discharging the person under a conditional release order (CRO) (in which case the court proceeds to make a conditional release order under section 9).
- S 10(1)(C) order, discharging the person on condition of participation in an intervention program.
The Court Must Consider the Following Matters When Deciding to Grant a Section 10 Dismissal
- 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 (something out-of-the-ordinary that can partly explain why the offence was committed),
- any other matter that the court thinks proper to consider.
The above list is non-exhaustive (R v Paris  NSWCCA 83).
Can You get a Section 10 Dismissal for any Offence?
There are a number of offences that may be dealt with by way of a Section 10 dismissal. The most common include less serious traffic offences, minor drug offences and criminal offences in the Local Courts. However, it is not impossible to obtain Section 10 dismissal for more serious matters in the District Court or matters that carry jail term.
The scope for the application of Section 10 decreases where the offence is objectively serious and general deterrence and denunciation are important factors in sentencing for the offence.
There are certain traffic offences, such as drink driving, negligent driving where death or grievous bodily harm results, or driving at speed or manner dangerous, furious or reckless, you are not able to receive more than one section 10 within five-year period.
At Criminal Lawyers Sydney, we understand that any conviction, can have a huge impact on your future and can affect your current and future employment, ability to travel, in some cases ability to secure finance and many other aspects of your life.
Getting a Section 10 means that you will not receive a criminal conviction on your criminal or traffic record.
In traffic matters, a Section 10 means you will avoid losing your licence for a drink driving offence, drug driving offence, avoid interlock program, avoid losing demerit points or avoid substantial fines.
How Do You Increase Your Chance of Getting a Section 10 Dismissal?
We are experienced in obtaining Section 10 Dismissals for our clients charged with a wide range of traffic and criminal offences. We will guide you through the entire court process and work with you to minimise the legal ramifications of your offence.
Our team will guide you on obtaining materials which can be handed-up to the court during your sentencing – including a letter of apology, character references, any documents from counsellors or health care professionals you have consulted
If a Section 10 is not appropriate in your case, our experienced Section 10 Dismissal lawyers Sydney will fight hard to reduce any penalties and suspension periods, minimise and fines you may face and help you avoid or minimise a jail term.
‘Pleading Guilty’ and Section 10 Dismissal
Generally, there is a much better chance of getting this outcome by pleading guilty early in the case. This is because the law automatically gives a 25% discount off the sentence that the Judge or Magistrate would otherwise impose. This means, a lenient outcome and a better chance of obtaining a section 10 dismissal. An early plea of ‘guilty’ is also a relevant as it expresses remorse and contrition.
Our lawyers regularly appear in courts throughout NSW, from the Local Courts including Sydney metropolitan, through to Regional NSW. Click here to see courts we attend.
Contact our 24-hour dedicated phone number on 0449 593 845 to book your free first consultation with our expert traffic lawyers Sydney or criminal lawyers Sydney.