Office Locations

Sydney Office

Level 35
201 Elizabeth Street
Sydney NSW 2000

Melbourne Office

Level 4
99 William Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

Brisbane Office

Level 5
231 North Quay
Brisbane QLD 4000

Canberra Office

Level 5
1 Farrell Place
Canberra ACT 2601

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Phone 1300 168 676

Frequently Asked Questions


Contact Armstrong Legal:
Sydney: (02) 9261 4555

Will I get a criminal record from a drug possession matter?

Yes. A criminal conviction is very likely unless the Court is convinced that they should exercise their discretion not to convict you of the offence.

Can I Avoid a Criminal Record?

Although it is possible to avoid a criminal record for a charge of possessing a prohibited drug, the starting point for the Court is always a conviction.

What is a section 10?

The expression 'section 10' refers to section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999. This section allows a court that finds you guilty of an offence, to discharge you without recording a conviction. Because there is no conviction, there is no criminal record.

How can I obtain a section 10?

Courts do not give out section 10’s lightly. A court will usually need a lot of convincing before granting you a section 10. The law says that in deciding whether to give a person a section 10, the court must consider the following issues:

  • Your age, character, record, health and mental condition
  • The trivial nature of the offence
  • Any extenuating circumstances
  • Anything else the court perceives to be relevant

Can I pay a greater fine to avoid being convicted?

No, it is not possible to bargain with the court that you would pay a larger fine to avoid a criminal conviction. If the court deals with you under section 10 there will be no fine, but there may be court costs (normally less than $80)

What are my chances of obtaining a section 10?

There are a number of factors that can contribute to your likelihood to be dealt with under section 10. To learn more about your chances of obtaining a section 10, call one of our criminal law experts on (02) 9261 4555

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