What’s difference between conviction, non-conviction, proven dismissal and diversion

We get asked a lot what’s difference between conviction, non-conviction, proven dismissal and diversion.

Relevantly they’re all to do with how an outcome in a criminal court is or is not recorded. A lot of people get confused because non-convictions proven dismissals still show up in your police certificate.

The reason for that is because the way police certificates work in Australia. It’s not a record of your criminal convictions, it’s essentially a record of findings of guilt against you by a court. That’s why even though Bob’s received a without conviction for kicking the shit out of Terry, on his police certificate it’ll say on such and such a date at the Moorabbin Magistrates’ Court Bob’s got a non-conviction for a recklessly causing injury. Because that’s a “disclosable court outcome”.

Now, conversely, if you exceed the speed limit by 35km/hr or above, in Victoria, you automatically get a conviction the minute you pay the fine, but that doesn’t show up in your police certificate because it’s not a finding of guilt by a court.

So we know that non-convictions show up, proven dismissals show up, obviously, convictions show up, because it’s a conviction. Diversions don’t show up because if you get a diversion, your case gets “diverted” from the legal system and there’s no finding of guilt.

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