My Legal Blog

Howdy! I'm Dan Smith and I live with my wonderful family in Perth. This is my legal blog which aims to look at every part of the legal system. I should point out that i'm not a lawyer myself. However, my good friend Stan has been representing people in court for many years. I find Stan's work fascinating and I love asking him questions. I have even done a bit of my own research into the legal system. I decided to pull everything together here so I could organise my thoughts while also providing useful info for others. Thanks for checking out my blog!

Could Your Criminal Offence Qualify for a Section 10 Dismissal?


Many people go through life without ever having a brush with the law but for some, this may have been inevitable. For example, they may have been through so much trauma in their life recently that they momentarily lost control, and this led to them committing a criminal offence. While there's never a real justification for committing a crime, it may nevertheless be possible for an individual in this situation to come away without a criminal record. If you're in this position now, why do you need to consider seeking a section 10 judgement?

Section 10 Dismissal

In New South Wales, judges have the option to dismiss a particular crime under what is known as section 10 of the Crimes Act 1999. These regulations state that charges against an individual can be dismissed completely, even if they are guilty of the stated crime. Should this happen, they will not receive a fine or any other conditional penalty and, crucially, they won't get a criminal record either.

Nature of the Offence

In order to qualify for this type of outcome, the charge must be "trivial," although some people have been able to use this approach for more serious offences as well. You will have to claim that there were extenuating circumstances and will generally need to show that you are of good character and had not been in major trouble with the law before.

Extenuating Reasons

Of course, you will want to know what the court considers to be an extenuating circumstance. Usually, this will relate to something out of the ordinary or a sequence of events that created a condition or scenario that triggered the action. For example, if you had been under pressure at work, may have recently broken up with your spouse and had then lost most of your savings to a con artist, you might have lost control. Most reasonable people would understand why you might have snapped in this situation and why you committed the offence, whatever it might have been.

Gathering Evidence

Remember, you need to show that you are a person of generally good character as well and should gather several character references to back you up. It may help to show that you have voluntarily signed up for an anger management course or some other form of counselling before you present the case to the judge.

Best Support

To stand the best chance of receiving a section 10 dismissal, you should get legal support. Talk with a lawyer at a criminal law firm for their advice.


26 December 2019