Section 10 - avoiding a criminal record

Normally, when you plead guilty to breaching a corporate regulation or a criminal offence, the court imposes a penalty and records a conviction. If the court records a conviction you will have a criminal record.

However, in all criminal law cases a Court has the discretion not to record a conviction but deal with you under the terms of section 10.

Section 10 – what does it mean?

The term “section 10” refers to section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999. This section permits a court that finds you guilty of an offence, to discharge an offender without recording a conviction. Because there is no conviction and a criminal conviction will not be recorded.

Three different types of section 10 dismissals.

  • An outright dismissal pursuant to section 10(1)(a)
  • A Conditional dismissal with a good behaviour bondpursuant to section 10(1)(b)
  • A Conditional dismissal with a rehabilitation coursepursuant to section 10(1)(c)

An outright dismissal

An outright dismissal pursuant to section 10 involves the court dismissing the offence without any conditions. .

A conditional discharge with a good behaviour bond

This is the most popular way that a court deals with an offender under section 10. A Court can dismiss a court attendance notice pursuant to section 10, and at the same time impose a good behaviour bond on an offender for up to 2 years. The bond can have any conditions which the Court wants you to abide by. These conditions will include as a minimum that:

  • You be of good behaviour
  • You advise the court of any change of address and
  • You appear before the court if you are called upon to do so

If you breach any conditions of the bond, the Court can make the offender appear before the court, revoke the bond and impose a different sentence for the offence.

A conditional discharge with an intervention program

A court can dismiss a court attendance notice under section 10, and at the same time impose conditions that you complete an intervention program of some kind.

What to you have to show to obtain a section 10?

Courts do not dismiss matters under section10 freely. Normally a Court will require convincing that your case deserves a dismissal under section 10. The Court must consider the following issues when making a decision to deal with you under section 10:

  • Your age, character, record, health and mental condition.
  • The trivial nature of the offence.
  • Any extenuating circumstances
  • Anything else the court thinks is relevant.

Honest and expert advice

We have access to sentencing statistics and case law for all offences dealt with in NSW and we can give you with our honest opinion as to your chances of obtaining a Section 10. Please call us on(02)92614555.


If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in corporate crime and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.


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