NO CONVICTION – ITS NOT ‘UNUSUAL’

A case involving a traffic charge does not have to be ‘unusual’ for a Court to refrain from recording a conviction. Recently, a man was charged when a car he owned was driven unregistered and uninsured. He was told by a Magistrate that his case was not unusual and therefore he would have to receive a fine equivalent to the expiation fee and a conviction. On appeal to the Supreme Court it was held that the Magistrate had made an error in the way that a Court should deal with the question of whether or not to impose a conviction. The...

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WHAT DOES ‘WITHOUT CONVICTION’ MEAN FOR MY EMPLOYMENT?

When imposing penalty upon a guilty plea or finding of guilt after trial, a Court has the discretion under certain circumstances to refrain from recording a conviction under the Criminal Law Sentencing Act 1988.* In South Australia a ‘no conviction’ or ‘without conviction’ ruling automatically becomes a ‘Spent Conviction’ under section 4 of the Spent Convictions Act 2009. It is an offence to disclose a Spent Conviction and thus such an offence should not appear on a Criminal History Clearance Check through the South Australian...

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WHEN CAN A CRIMINAL CHARGE BE FINALISED WITHOUT A CONVICTION?

Two recent decisions handed down by the Supreme Court have considered the circumstances under which a criminal conviction should not be recorded against a person found guilty of an offence. In one case, this was despite the fact that the accused person was found guilty of the charge of assault after a six-day trial. Under the Criminal Law (Sentencing) Act when a Court finds a person guilty of an offence for which it proposes to impose a fine, community service or both, then the Court may do so without recording a conviction if it is of the...

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