What Is A Conditional Discharge?
A conditional discharge is a penalty that can be imposed where the court feel that given the character of the offender and the nature of the offence, it is not appropriate to impose a punishment.
There are two types of discharges – absolute discharge and conditional discharge.
An absolute discharge means that no further action is taken, although the offender is convicted of the offence and receives a criminal record. Absolute discharges are used by the court in very minor cases or where it is felt that the offender has received adequate deterrent without punishment being imposed.
A conditional discharge means that the offender is released, with the offence placed on their criminal record, but gives the court the power to review sentencing for the offence if the offender commits any further offence within a time period set by the court. The maximum time period for this is three years.
If the offender does commit a further offence within that time period, they may be recalled and resentenced for the original matter as well as the new matter.
Discharges do not prevent the court from ordering that the offender should pay compensation to a victim or contribute to the prosecution’s costs. A person can also receive a discharge and still be disqualified from driving by the court.
In cases where a person has pleaded not guilty, the court can find guilt and impose an absolute or conditional discharge. This is worth mentioning as many people fear that the court must be more severe with sentencing if a person is found guilty after trial.
Forrest Williams recently secured a conditional discharge for a client charged with common assault.
If you have been charged with a criminal offence, contact our expert team now for a free telephone consultation on 01623 397200.