What is an absolute discharge?

When you are convicted of a criminal offence, it is up to the judge to sentence you.

An absolute discharge is one of the options available for less serious crimes. However, it cannot be offered for crimes that have a mandatory minimum sentence. A complete list of excluded crimes is available on the Government website.

With this there is no sentence imposed and there are no conditions attached. These are therefore reserved for offences which are very trivial, or because there are strong extenuating factors relating to the defendant or otherwise which justify such a course. It does not however prevent the judge from requiring you to pay a fine as part of the conviction.


What happens if I reoffend after an absolute discharge?

As the sentence does not form part of your criminal record it will have no impact on subsequent offences.

Is it disclosed on DBS checks and does it appear on my criminal record?

No, an absolute discharge does not appear on your criminal record or a DBS check and does not need to be disclosed to potential employers.

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