Why does the court impose penalties?

The most obvious reason is that penalties serve as a form of punishment for the offender. However, there are a number of other reasons for the imposition of penalties. Some of these reasons are:

  1. To punish the offender;
  2. Prevent crime by deterring the offender and other people from committing the same or similar offences;
  3. Protection of the community from the offender;
  4. Rehabilitate the offender;
  5. Make the offender accountable for their actions;
  6. Denounce the conduct of the offender; or
  7. Recognition of the harm done to the victim and the community.


Section 10 Dismissal

A section 10 dismissal allows the court to dismiss the charges of the offender without recording a conviction. This is possible where there has been a plea of guilty entered or a finding by the court of guilt.

A section 10 dismissal allows the court to dismiss the charges of the offender without recording a conviction. This is possible where there has been a plea of guilty entered or a finding by the court of guilt.

Section 10 provides a safety net, it ensures that in certain circumstances, even though an offender has breached the law, they are not punished where there are extenuating circumstances or the offence was trivial and punishment is not appropriate.

The court will have regard to the following circumstances when considering whether a section 10 dismissal is appropriate:

  1. Whether it is the offender's first offence
  2. Whether the offence was trivial in nature