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.