Dismissal and Discharge
The court may dismiss a proven charge without recording a conviction or imposing a penalty. This is known as dismissal.
Where a charge is proved, the court may record a conviction but not impose any other penalty. This is known as a discharge.
In Victoria, around 7% of cases in the Magistrates’ Court result in dismissal or discharge. Dismissal and discharge is rarely imposed in the higher courts (less than 1% of cases) (2020–21).
Where a charge is proved, the court may order an adjourned undertaking. This allows a person to be released into the community unsupervised for up to five years. The person must agree to the undertaking.
Standard conditions are attached to an adjourned undertaking. These include that the person must be of good behaviour (not commit further offences) for the duration of the undertaking. The court may also impose other conditions. If a person breaches the conditions of an adjourned undertaking, they may be called back to court for resentencing.
The court may impose an adjourned undertaking with or without recording a conviction.
The Magistrates’ Court imposes adjourned undertakings in around 13% of cases. The higher courts rarely impose adjourned undertakings (less than 1% of cases) (2020–21).
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