If you are guilty of a traffic or criminal offence and the court does not impose a ‘Section 10’ you will be given a penalty (such as a fine) and have a conviction recorded.

A criminal record can harm your future job prospects and can stop you from travelling overseas.

A driving offence conviction can mean you lose your licence.

If a good defence lawyer can convince the court to give you a Section 10 you would suffer no penalty, no loss of licence, and have no criminal record.

A Section 10 refers to Section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act (NSW) and there are three types of orders a court can grant in this regard:

1(a) – dismissal – where charge is dismissed with no offence, without any conditions, and the matter is completely over as soon as you walk out of the Court room.

1(b) – conditional dismissal with a good behaviour bond – the charge is dismissed, but at the same time you are put on a good behaviour bond for up to 2 years.

The bond can have any conditions which might include:

  1. Good behaviour (that is, that you do not commit any further offences)
  2. You advise the Court of any change of address
  3. You appear before the Court if called upon to do so

10(c) – with Conditional dismissal with a rehabilitation course, such as a traffic offenders program, and order for you to comply with any action plan that results from that program.

Courts need a lot of convincing before granting a Section 10. The law says that in deciding whether to give a person a section 10, the Court must consider the following issues:

  • Age, character, record, health and mental condition
  • How trivial the nature of an offence might be
  • Any extenuating circumstances
  • Anything else the Court thinks is relevant.

If you are charged with any criminal or traffic offence you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible to help you to obtain.