know your rights

How can I avoid a conviction being recorded?

how can I avoid a conviction being recorded?

Section 16 and section 39 of the Criminal Law Sentencing Act gives the Court the discretion not to record a conviction.  There are a number of factors that the Court will consider including:

  • That it is unlikely that you would commit such an offence again,
  • whether you are previously of good character,
  • whether you have been before the Court previously and for what offence,
  • Your age, physical or mental health,
  • the seriousness of the offence,
  • if the offence is trifling in nature, and
  • any other extenuating circumstances.

Section 16 is utilised when a Court imposes a fine, community service or both as penalty.

Section 39 is utilised when a Court places the defendant on a good behaviour bond.  A good behaviour bond is a defendant’s promise to the Court that they will be of good behaviour (remain out of trouble with the law) for the duration of the Bond.  If the defendant is not of good behaviour the Bond is breached. Most Bonds have a re-sentence clause and in these circumstances the matter returns to the Court and the defendant may be resentenced for the offence.

On 14 June 2017 at the Mount Barker Magistrates Court Stephen Ey appeared for a client in relation to a charge of possess prohibited weapon.  After he made detailed submissions to the Court the Magistrate exercised his discretion not to record a conviction.

Whether or not a conviction is recorded can impact heavily on many different careers and a person’s ability to travel.  There are many different jobs that require the applicants to provide a police clearance.  This is a difficult area to navigate and can be difficult to argue.  If having a conviction recorded would impact on your job or your ability to travel we would strongly recommend that you contact us and speak to a member of our team who are experienced in criminal law and traffic law in South Australia.



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