As one of the most common criminal offences in not just NSW but in Australia, drink driving is a serious matter that can have significant legal and personal consequences. In NSW, individuals charged with drink driving may face the prospect of a conviction on their record, which can have far-reaching implications for their future. However, in some cases, it is possible for individuals to receive a non-conviction order, which can offer a lifeline and help mitigate the impact of the offence. In this article, we will explore the concept of non-conviction orders in drink driving matters in NSW and discuss how they can affect individuals facing these charges.


What is a Non-Conviction Order?


In the context of drink driving offenses in NSW, a non-conviction order, also known as a ‘section 10’ dismissal or ‘conditional release order’, is a court order that allows an individual to avoid a criminal conviction despite being found guilty of an offence.


When Can a Non-Conviction Order be Granted?


The decision to grant a non-conviction order in a drink driving matter is at the discretion of the court and is based on various factors, including the individual’s prior criminal record, the circumstances of the offence, and the impact of a conviction on the individual’s life. Generally, non-conviction orders are more likely to be granted to first-time offenders and those who have committed less serious drink driving offences. Additionally, the court will consider whether the individual has taken steps to address any underlying issues that may have contributed to the offence, such as attending counselling or rehabilitation programs or even whether the individual has sat & completed a Traffic Offenders Rehabilitation Program.


Benefits of a Non-Conviction Order


Receiving a non-conviction order in a drink driving matter can have several significant benefits for the individual facing charges. Firstly, it means that the individual will not have a criminal conviction recorded against their name, which can have a positive impact on their future employment prospects, travel opportunities, and overall reputation. Furthermore, a non-conviction order can help individuals avoid the mandatory licence disqualification that typically accompanies a drink driving conviction, allowing them to maintain their ability to drive, which is often crucial for their livelihood and personal responsibilities.


Seeking Legal Assistance


Navigating the legal complexities of drink driving matters and pursuing a non-conviction order can be challenging without the guidance of a skilled Criminal Defence Lawyer. Therefore, individuals facing drink driving charges in NSW are strongly encouraged to seek the advice and representation of an experienced criminal defence lawyer. A knowledgeable lawyer can assess the specifics of the case, provide valuable knowledge, and advocate for the best possible outcome, which may include securing a non-conviction order on the individual’s behalf.


In conclusion, while drink driving offences are serious matters that can have severe repercussions, it is important for individuals to be aware of the possibility of receiving a non-conviction order in NSW. By understanding the criteria for obtaining a non-conviction order and seeking the right legal support, individuals can take steps to mitigate the impact of a drink driving charge and work towards a positive resolution.


If you or someone you know is facing drink driving charges and seeking legal guidance, our team at Nicopoulos Sabbagh Lawyers is here to provide expert assistance and support throughout the legal process.



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*This article correctly reflects the Laws of NSW as at 30th January 2024.


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