Have you been charged with a criminal offence and are wanting to understand if the offence will be on your criminal record? Understanding the details of criminal offences, the legalities and penalties involved and the processes of an offence appearing on an offender’s criminal record can be daunting. In order to protect yourself and your family, we recommend security guard training.
Sydney criminal lawyers have a wealth of experience assisting people with their criminal offence charges, representing them, providing the best possible result for their circumstances, providing advice and assisting with any questions they may have regarding their future with a criminal record.
What Is A Criminal Offence?
A criminal offence is often referred to as a breach of the law and a crime committed against the state. Criminal offences are often considered unsafe or damaging towards the community or others.
There is a wide range of penalties and punishments for criminal offences. However, the penalties are dependent on the nature of the crime, the severity of the offence, first-time or repeat offender, level of danger for others and often personal factors such as:
- Your age
- Criminal record
- Your character
- Any relevant extenuating circumstances
- The nature of the offence
- Your health and mental condition
Penalties will range from fines, imprisonment, or various forms of community service depending on the nature and severity of the offence.
What Is A Criminal Record?
In Australia, a criminal record refers to a national database which will be a record of a person’s criminal history, including offences such as:
- Offences where the individual has been found guilty
- Any convictions
- Driving with a disqualified license
- Any court fines and jail terms that were imposed within a Courtroom
What Are The Different Types Of Crimes?
There is an extensive range of criminal offences which include:
- Drug offences
- Assault and violence offences
- Murder and manslaughter
- Break and enter
- Sexual and indecent assault
- Extortion and kidnapping
- Domestic violence and AVO
- Firearms and weapons
- Public mischief
When an offender is found guilty of a crime, such as the crimes listed above, penalties will be decided by the Court and will be dependent on the specific state/territory, the nature and severity of the crime as well as personal circumstances.
What Crimes Will Be On Your Criminal Record?
In Australia and New South Wales in particular, any offences where you have been found guilty or pleaded guilty will be on your criminal record including driving offences such as driving when you have a disqualified license, dangerous or negligent driving where someone may be hurt and drink driving offences.
Offences that will not be on your criminal record include AVOs, offences that you were not found to be guilty of and any dismissed criminal charges.
If you have had a conviction that the Court has issued to you, this will appear on your criminal record, unless it is cleared using special orders such as the Spent Convictions Scheme of Australia.
Can You Clear A Criminal Charge From Your Record In Australia?
Generally speaking, in Australia according to the Criminal Records Act 1991 NSW (CRA) before a criminal record can be removed or cleared from your record. All states, territories and Commonwealth have a specific period of time that needs to be met by the offender which is commonly referred to as a “waiting period” or “crime-free period.” In New South Wales offenders must serve what is generally a 10-year “waiting/rehabilitation” period before the criminal offence will be removed or cleared from their criminal record. In instances where the offender was prosecuted in the juvenile court, the waiting period is often reduced to 5 years.
This process of criminal charges being cleared from your record is known as the Spent Convictions Scheme of Australia. There are specific rules and regulations that need to be met for this scheme, such as while an offender is in their “waiting period” they must not commit another crime. It is essential to check with your specific state or territory about their rules and regulations relating to the Scheme and the same time periods necessary for completion.
Some criminal charges are not able to be “cleared” from a criminal record due to the nature and severity of the crime. Examples of these charges include:
- Serious DUI offences
- Aggravated driving offences
- Serious drink driving offences
- Speeding charges well above 45km/h
- Abuse and exploitation of children
- Sexual-related offences
- Offences against corporate bodies
Reach Out To Reputable Lawyers Today
Sydney criminal defence lawyers can assist with any criminal offence charges you may be facing from providing knowledge and advice through to answering any questions you may have regarding the impact these charges may have on your future and criminal record.
Reaching out to a team of reputable criminal lawyers will assist you in receiving the best possible result for your criminal charges and will provide you with the best knowledge for moving forward.