What is a section 10 under criminal sentencing?

Section 10 dismissal is one of the many sentences that the NSW Courts can give to an offender under Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999. The sentences can include:

  1. Custodial sentences: full-time imprisonment, intensive correction orders and home detention;
  2. Non-custodial penalties include suspended sentences, community service orders, good behaviour bonds, dismissals of charges and conditional discharges (s 10), fine and convictions with no other penalties (s 10A convictions).

Generally, the term, section 10, is used to mean that the offender has pleaded guilty or has been found guilty by the court but no conviction is recorded against her. Section 10 can sometimes be accompanied by section 10 bond (good behaviour bond) for a period of time so that in the event that the offender reoffends during the period for good behavior bond, he will be resentenced on this offence for which he received section 10. If this happens, he is likely to be convicted.

NSW police car
NSW police car that not all police officer would drive

There are many factors that impact on whether an offender will receive section 10. The more significant ones would be:

  1. Any prior criminal/traffic record
  2. Type and seriousness of the offence
  3. Any plausible reason for committing the offence
  4. The need for section 10

In 2010, the statistics show that the offenders were sentenced as follows:

  1. Section 10 dismissal with or without bond: 18.6%
  2. Section 10A conviction: 1.7%
  3. Fine: 43.7%
  4. Section 9 bond: 19.8%
  5. Community Services Order: 3.9%
  6. Suspended sentence: 4.8%
  7. Intensive Corrective Order: 0.1%
  8. Home Detention: 0.2%
  9. Prison: 6.9%

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