All about section 10 – Pleading Guilty without a Conviction
When deciding whether or not to plead guilty to a criminal or traffic offence, it is absolutely crucial to consider all of your options.
While your NSW Criminal law lawyer will be working with you throughout the process, it is always advised to have some background knowledge of your own.
Pleading guilty to a charge may seem counterintuitive in some circumstances. However, a guilty plea can have great advantages thanks to the possibility of a Section 10 order.
Read on to learn more about a Section 10 and how it can work for your situation.
What is a section 10?
A section 10 order can save you from a criminal record even if you have been found guilty of a criminal or traffic offence. A section 10 can be ordered by a Court in certain offences after you plead guilty to your charge.
A section 10 ensures that no conviction is recorded on your criminal record which means that you do not face any jail time and you do not receive a criminal record, despite being found guilty. Additionally, if you are granted a section 10 in a traffic matter, you do not lose your licence.
Please note that a section 10 is not automatically granted when you plead guilty. The following issues are considered when deciding to award a section 10:
- The nature of the offence
- Your age, character, record, health and mental state
- The severity and moral culpability of your offence
- If there are extenuating or aggravating circumstances
- Anything else the court thinks is relevant
Types of section 10s
A section 10A dismissal involves the court, without proceeding to a conviction, dismissing the charge against you. The offence will not be recorded on your record and no penalty is enforced. This means that after you leave the courtroom the matter is completely finished in the eyes of the law.
Conditional Dismissal with a Good Behaviour Bond
A section 10B bond involves the court, without proceeding to a conviction ordering you to enter into a good behaviour bond for a period of up to two years. The bond can have various conditions that you must abide by. They could include things such as:
- That you commit no further offences
- That you advise the court of any change of address
- That you appear in court if called upon to do so
Any breach of your good behaviour bond can result in a new, harsher penalty.
A section 10C involves the court without proceeding to a conviction, ordering you to enter into a mandated intervention program. This could be a traffic program, a drug rehabilitation program or an alcohol rehabilitation program to name a few.
The completion of the selected program is a requirement of the section 10C order and failing to adhere to the conditions can result in a new, harsher penalty.
Seeking for Legal help?
If you are in need of legal advice and guidance in Wollonong on this issue, look no further than DGB Lawyers. Contact us today to organise an initial consultation.