If you choose to plead guilty, or are found guilty of a criminal offence in NSW you may have a conviction on your record. This may be the case even if you are not facing jail time or paying a fine. Occasionally, the court may even decide to impose a conviction without any other form of punishment.
The impacts of a conviction can often have long-lasting effects.
Often first-time offenders may not appreciate how a conviction may affect their future relationship with the courts and police. If you already have a conviction this can affect the likelihood of receiving bail as well as the severity of the punishment you receive for offences in the future. The court will also take into account the type of offence, for example, if you are found guilty of a violence-related offence, your prior convictions relating to violence will be taken into account.
The effects on employment are a common concern among many of our clients. Some jobs, particularly government employment, will usually require you to undertake a Police Check. To read more about what is likely to appear on Police Check, see our webpage on spent convictions and juvenile offending.
A conviction can also effect travel and visa applications. This applies to Australians wishing to travel to countries such as the US but also to non-residents attempting to obtaining a visa or citizenship in Australia.
There may be ways in which you can avoid a conviction. To seek advice about your options, please contact one of our specialist criminal lawyers.