If you’ve been charged with an offence and have had a criminal record imposed, then you will have information contained ‘on your record’ which may impact on your future. There is a difference between being charged with a criminal offence or a driving offence, and having a criminal conviction recorded.
If you have a conviction recorded, there are certain obligations and limitations which are going to exist in your life. The legal limitations imposed on you exist in law and in society and depending on the extent of your offence, may last for a period of time, or for your life.
In some cases, the limitation of a conviction may be self-imposed because the offender fears that their community or peers will find out about their offence.
We are going to explore the extent of impact that a criminal history is going to have on your life and discuss how you can avoid a conviction with Lawler Magill.
What is a Conviction and When is One Recorded?
A conviction is a legal record of criminal activity. You can be found guilty of participating in criminal activity and not have a conviction recorded. Depending on what the criminal activity is, you may have a conviction recorded as a mandatory part of that activity.
Some minor offences will carry a ‘no conviction’ sentence even if you are found guilty by the Magistrate.
The Court is allowed not to record a conviction if a person is found guilty and sentenced for criminal activity. Whether the Court decides to record a conviction will depend on a number of factors, including:
- How serious the offence is – for example, a crime of murder is going to have a conviction recorded (and a sentence of imprisonment imposed) while the crime of assault in self-defence may not have a criminal conviction recorded
- The age and character of the offender – someone who is very young and who is likely to be able to turn their life around without the mark of a conviction may be looked upon more favourably than someone who has a repeated character of offending
- Any previous criminal history – someone who is a repeat offender is more likely to have a criminal conviction recorded, possibly as a deterrent for future activities, compared to someone whose first offence it is
- The wellbeing of the accused – if the Court considers that the person charged will be disproportionately affected by a criminal conviction when seeking employment, then the Court may exercise its discretion to record no conviction
In every instance, the Court will weigh up each factor. This is why it’s imperative that you have a criminal lawyer like Lawler Magill on your side to ensure you have the best possible chance of avoiding a criminal conviction being recorded.
How Will My Conviction Impact On My Life?
A conviction must be declared in any instance where required by law. This will be in instances which you might expect, like applying for certain jobs, and somewhere you might not expect, like international travel.
- If you have a conviction, you will need to disclose this when you’re seeking employment with any kind of government agency, as well as some forms of jobs in corporate sectors. Jobs in industries like hospitality, construction, and manual labour generally do not require you to disclose criminal convictions – but this depends on the size and scale of the employer
- When travelling overseas, you will need to disclose a criminal conviction. Depending on the time frame in which the conviction took place, and the nature of the offence, you may be denied entry to the country – or at the very least will have to take plenty of time in processing your entry visa
- A criminal conviction can have an impact on your ability to get a blue card and other necessary work passes and certifications
If you have a job or are seeking a career where you know that you will be required to disclose criminal convictions, it’s imperative that you seek legal advice from a criminal lawyer who understands how to present your case for the best possible outcome.
Call Lawler Magill on (07) 3236 5656 for representation and advice on avoiding a conviction now.