Section 17 - Non-conviction Orders - Armstrong Legal Canberra

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This article was written by Michelle Makela - Legal Practice Director

Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning.  Michelle has been involved in all practice areas of the firm and in her personal practice has had experience in litigation at all levels (State and Federal Industrial Tribunals, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, Federal...

Section 17 - Non-conviction Orders

Normally, when you plead guilty to a criminal or traffic offence, the court imposes a penalty and records a conviction. If the court records a conviction, you will have a criminal record. In traffic matters this may also include a loss of licence. However, if we were able to convince the court not to convict you (a Section 17 order), there would be no penalty, no loss of licence, and no criminal record. In all criminal and traffic law cases, a court has the discretion not to convict you but to deal with you under the terms of Section 17.

What is a “Section 17”?

The expression “Section 17” refers to Section 17 of the Crimes (Sentencing) Act 2005. This allows a court that finds you guilty of an offence, to discharge you without recording a conviction. Because there is no conviction, there is no criminal record. Additionally, there is no loss of driver’s licence and no other penalty.

Types of Section 17s

There are two types of Section 17s:

  • Section 17 dismissal – Section 17(2)(a).
  • Conditional dismissal with a good behaviour order – Section 17(2)(b).

Section 17(2)(a) dismissal

This involves the court dismissing the offence without any conditions. The matter is completely over as soon as you walk out of the courtroom.

Section 17(2)(b) – conditional dismissal with a good behaviour order

This dismissal involves a condition of compliance with a good behavior order.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

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