What Is Section 10 of the NSW Crimes Act 1999, and How Do You Know if You Qualify?

November 12, 2022 Off By Delores V. Stalnaker

What Is Section 10 of the NSW Crimes Act 1999, and How Do You Know if You Qualify?

If you’ve been charged with any criminal offence in New South Wales, you might wonder if you’ll go to jail or receive a minor or major sentence if you’re found guilty. It can be hard to understand the legal system and how it works, particularly when you’re unfamiliar with it. If you made a mistake recently that could result in criminal charges, don’t panic! Section 10 of the NSW Crimes Act 1999 may be able to help you out of this situation and keep your criminal record clean from unnecessary convictions. This guide, written by the leading criminal lawyers in Sydney, tells you more. 

An Overview of Section 10:

Section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 allows for conditional release from prison.

If a defendant pleads guilty to the charges against them or is found guilty at a defended trial, the judge will typically give the defendant a sentence. Sentences are most often given in conjunction with recording a conviction on the defendant’s name. 

Convictions stay on a person’s criminal record for ten years. Section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 (NSW) allows a court to dismiss a charge or discharge a person with or without conviction under a conditional release order.

Types of Section 10 Order:

There are three types of Section 10 order:

  • Section 10 (1) (a)
  • Section 10 (1) (b)
  • Section 10 (1) (c)

Section 10 (1) (a) – The court dismisses the case entirely without any condition being applied on the defendant.

Section 10 (1) (b) – A conditional release order (good behaviour bond) can be imposed under section 10(1)(b) without recording a conviction for up to two years. The following conditions will be applicable:

  • Any change in residential address should be notified to the court.
  • The person should not commit any crime/offence.
  • Must be of good behaviour.

The court will determine how long the bond remains in effect, for up to two years. This is known as the bond period. If you diligently follow all the conditions above throughout the bond period, the court will dismiss your case. If not, the court will re-sentence you, and your Section 10 order becomes void immediately.

Section 10 (1) (c) – This order is similar to Section 10 (1) (b), however the conditions imposed will be different. They are as follows:

  • The person must participate in an intervention program, such as rehabilitation.
  • They must comply with the said intervention plan without fail.
  • The criminal law in Sydney states that the person should successfully complete the intervention program, only after which the offence will be dismissed, and it doesn’t become a part of their criminal history.

How Will the Court Grant a Section 10 Order?

Getting a Section 10 is not easy. When explaining why your case deserves to be dismissed, criminal lawyers in Sydney need to offer a convincing argument supported by enough evidence that proves your assertions. Also, the following factors will also be taken into consideration by the court before deciding to grant a Section 10 order.

  • The person’s character, history, age, health and mental condition.
  • The trivial nature of the offence.
  • The extenuating circumstances in which the offence was committed.
  • Any other matter that the court thinks proper to consider.

Less severe offences, such as traffic infringements, have a higher chance of success rate. However, that doesn’t mean all serious offences will be disregarded by the court. With the assistance of a competent criminal defence lawyer, you can increase the chances of obtaining a Section 10 order.

According to the experts, presenting the following material can help:

  • Show evidence of your personal circumstances at the time/before you committed the crime.
  • Show evidence of the adverse impact the conviction will have on you and your family, such as losing your job or license.
  • Show any aspects of your case that demonstrate your good behaviour. Convince the court that you had a reason to commit the crime or that you’ve changed and made positive improvements in your life.

Why Should You Hire a Lawyer?

By hiring experienced criminal solicitors in Sydney who have achieved these results before, you increase your chances of attaining a Section 10 order or a Conditional Release Order. A criminal lawyer’s expertise and years of experience can help you obtain Section 10 or Conditional Release Orders without a conviction.

If you’ve recently been charged with an offence in NSW, Section 10 Dismissal can prove to be very helpful. However, this is more complex than it seems, as there are plenty of factors to consider before you apply. Make sure you hire a certified lawyer who knows the ins and outs of NSW criminal law.