Have you ever been charged or convicted of a criminal offence? The effects of a criminal record in NSW

There are many cases where people have been charged with an offence. This can be a very stressful process. Often in those cases many are not aware of the process and generally plead ‘guilty’, representing themselves, to save money and to make the issue “go away” as quick as possible. As a result, they may be convicted of the offence in Court which could have some serious repercussions on future employment and even travel.

THE CRIMINAL RECORD

There is a multitude of criminal offences in NSW, and it is very likely many of us has committed a crime at some point in our lives. These offences can take many forms and are sometimes minor, such as a parking or speeding ticket, or more serious such as drug offences and even rape and murder.

Not all offences are classified as ‘criminal’ and will lead to a criminal record.

Your criminal record includes a list of all serious traffic offences and other offences that you have been found guilty and convicted of in court.

Serious traffic offences include:

  • drink driving convictions;
  • dangerous or negligent driving convictions where someone is hurt; and/or
  • convictions for driving whilst disqualified, suspended or cancelled.

Minor offences, such as uttering offensive language in public, or entering a public fountain, are summary offences that can give you a criminal record.

In NSW, criminal and traffic records are separate.

Is a criminal record for life?

Offences will generally be on your record for the next ten years after the date of conviction.

After that time, most offences will become “spent convictions” and you will no longer have them on your criminal record. A conviction is spent on completion of the relevant crime-free period. The crime-free period for adults is ten consecutive years, while for children it is three consecutive years.

Some exemptions to this apply, such as murder and other serious offences, which will never be spent, or where you have received a sentence of imprisonment of more than 6 months.

Apart from the exception, you will be considered to have a ‘clean record’ after 10 years of not offending.

What is a section 10?

A person of generally good character can maintain a clean criminal record by being awarded a ‘section 10’.

Getting a section 10 will mean that there is no criminal conviction, no fine and, in driving cases, no loss of licence. Receiving a section 10 requires a solicitor to make concise and strong arguments by a trained solicitor in your specific case.

For more information on Section 10 visit our exclusive page by clicking here

Discrimination, according to law, generally occurs when a person is treated less favourably because of a particular characteristic.

If you have been charged with an offence, contact our trained solicitors to increase your chances of defending your charges or receiving a section 10 or simply just email us on [email protected] We can be contacted on our 24 hour line on 02 8678 0090 and have offices all around NSW, including Sydney CBD, Parramatta, Blacktown, Redfern and soon opening in Bankstown.

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