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The difference between a conviction and non-conviction

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Whenever someone is charged in a Court it is usual practice that a conviction will be recorded on the person’s criminal or traffic history, depending which one the charge related to.

Once a person is 17 years of age any convictions on their traffic or criminal history will stay on record for up to 10 years. Each State has their own records for what charges occurred in that particular State but they can be provided to other States when requested by a Police force or a Court. You may need a copy of your criminal record to apply for a job, work as a volunteer, work with children, apply for insurance or to get an overseas visa.

Although it can be difficult, it is possible to convince the Magistrates not to record a conviction if there are reasonable grounds to support the request. These need to be good reasons such as –

  • You will lose your job due to the nature of your occupation the organisation whom you work for;
  • If it is a criminal charge – that you wish to travel or apply for the Navy etc
  • It is your first offence

If no conviction is recorded you do not need to disclose to anyone that you have been charged with that offence (except if disclosure is required by law for example applying to work with children). If, for example, an employer does a search a non-conviction will not show up on a criminal history, however, the Police and Courts will always be able to see the charge and the fact that no conviction was recorded.

We have had success in obtaining no convictions recorded, even when they were charged with quite serious offences. Here are some examples  –

  1. A client was charged with a large drug offence and owned a car importing business, bringing in cars from America. A conviction would be restricted his ability to travel to America and also to import vehicles to the Country, resulting in him losing his ability to earn an income and keep his business.
  1. A client was charged with common assault. Due to the fact that he was a school bus driver the recording of a criminal charge would have meant to he would have lost his job.
  1. A client from overseas, who is now an Australia Citizen, was charged with a drug charge. A conviction could have prevented him from being able to travel overseas to see his family.
  1. A young client was in the process of applying to the Army and was charged with drink driving. A conviction could have interfered with this application.

If you are charged with any traffic offence (excluding dangerous driving which is a criminal charge) it will only be recorded on your traffic history the same as a speeding fine would be. It is not recorded  on your criminal history. It is generally only criminal history which can effect overseas travel but some countries may require more information from you if you have traffic charges recorded.  

Here at Clarity Law we almost every day appear in the Courts with clients, many of which are seeking that no conviction be recorded. It is this experience that allows us to get the absolute best result for clients.  Other law firms simply don’t have the experience that we do and don’t know the Magistrates like we do.  We also offer the most competitive prices for representation in Queensland click here to see what we will charge. 

If you want to engage us or just need further information or advice then call us on 1300 952 255 seven days a week, 7am to 7pm or visit our website at www.claritylaw.com.au 

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