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  • Dr. Pankaj Kumar

Discharge without conviction: Plead/found guilty but not convicted

If a person who is charged with an offence is found guilty or pleads guilty, the court may discharge the offender without conviction, if the court is satisfied that the direct and indirect consequences of a conviction would be out of all proportion to the gravity of the offence unless by any enactment applicable to the offence the court is required to impose a minimum sentence.


A discharge is deemed to be an acquittal which may be subject to payment of costs compensation or the restitution of any property.


Challenges due to conviction in terms of employment and Immigration:


Loss of job:

Though the employers can not directly relate one’s conviction with termination of employment unless the conviction does not directly affect in performing the job duties but in getting new job or suspension of driver’s licence of professional drivers etc. might be fatal for their employment.

Extreme undue hardships including financial:

Conviction can cause undue hardships for a person in various spheres of life including financial, personal, or emotional.

Immigration issue/ Deportation liability notice:

In one of the annual reports of immigration and protection tribunal’s annual report it was mentioned that 69% of appeal against deportations by non-residents were declined and 56% of appeal against deportations by residents were declined.


Basis of Discharge without conviction:


The applicant’s personal circumstances:

These may include, youth, remorseful action of the applicant, good references, applicant’s personal, professional, and family background, support letters and community services including donations for the society may count in favour.


The conviction would be out of all proportion to the gravity of the offence:

Will the consequences of the conviction out of all proportion to the gravity of the offence like loss of a job, exclusion from a profession, or loss of immigration status, loss of a future career, inability to travel overseas, difficulty getting insurance, and effects on others such as family members or employers.


Advantage of Discharge without conviction:


No criminal records generated against the person despite found or plead guilty hence there is no adverse effect on his employment or immigration status.