1. Understand how the judge decides
Question & AnswerWhat is a conditional or absolute discharge?
It is up to the judge to decide if you should be . With a discharge, you don't get a permanent criminal record.
You may get a discharge if this is the first time you've been charged with a crime and the crime was minor. But the judge doesn't have to give you a discharge just because it's your first crime.
And, if it isn't your first crime, the judge can still decide to give you a discharge.
To give you a discharge instead of a conviction, the judge must believe:
- a discharge is in your best interest, and
- a discharge is not against public interest.
If you're discharged, you will either be:
- given an and allowed to leave without any conditions, or
- given a and required to follow conditions on for up to 3 years.
If you get a conditional discharge, and you don't follow the terms of your probation, your conditional discharge can be taken back by the court and replaced with a conviction.
Records of absolute discharge are automatically destroyed after 1 year. Records of conditional discharge are automatically destroyed after 3 years.