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  • Do Diversion Programs show up on a Police Check?

    It is quite understandable why lots of people are worried whether a Diversion Program (or some other offence) will show up in their Police Check. Of course, we are talking about a document that has become important in important sectors like;

    • Employment,
    • Industry Accreditations,
    • Licensing,
    • Volunteering,
    • Other roles, especially those that include sensitive positions.

    Does a Diversion Program show on a Police Check?

    Diversion Programs are not included in a police check result. In fact, after the completed hearing at the court, your criminal records for a Diversion Program will just be as if you never had anything to do with the court.

    A Diversion Program is just the same as an official warning or caution. And warnings don't show in your Police Check records irrespective of the restitutions you had to make.

    Why does a Diversion Program not show in a Police Check?

    Some people wonder why a Diversion Program is not included in the criminal record even when it was issued by a court. However, you must take note that the Diversion Program is not the same as a conviction or penalty for crimes.

    The Police Check can only contain convictions and other penalties given by the court and hence displays an individual's disclosable court outcomes in accordance with Australia’s spent convictions legislation.

    What is a Police Check?

    The Police Check is a nationwide scheme that discloses all of a candidate's dealings with the Australian Judicial system. It contains records of all convictions, findings of guilt, pending charges, sentencing, imprisonment term, including details of the conviction.

    Simply, the Police Check contains results/sentencing outcomes given by an Australian court.

    Diversionary Programs

    The Diversionary Program is an alternative to a conviction, The Magistrate or Judicial registrar issues it to an offender instead of a conviction. However, the court does not grant a diversionary program for all types of offences. They consider some factors before issuing a Diversionary Program.

    Some of the conditions that must be in place before the court will receive an application to have a diversionary program issued are;

    • The offence should not have a minimum sentence or fixed penalty
    • The offence must be minor (be heard in a magistrate court)
    • The informant/prosecutor/victim must consent to the application for a diversionary program

    The offender;

    • The offender must accept full responsibility and agree to the impact of their offence
    • The offender should not be a repeat offender (should be a young/first time offender)
    • Must satisfy all the pre and post conditions issued by the court for the diversionary program.

    Only when the offence meets this criterion, and the offender satisfies all other prescribed conditions will the court grant a diversion program.

    Will I need to disclose a Diversion Program to my employer?

    If you have submitted your national criminal history check to your employer, you no longer have to reveal anything personal to them. Your Police Check advises them on your relevant legal standings and interactions with the law. The Law supports that you do not disclose your diversion programs to any other person.

    However, if the court or the law makes it mandatory for an applicant to reveal any details of a Diversion program for a role, then you can disclose it to the party.

    Do punishments still apply for Diversion Programs?

    If you are lucky to get a diversion program for your offence, then abide by the conditions for that program. And this includes other punishments that were initially imposed.

    If the Police/Magistrate issues a license disqualification, fines, or other penalties, the offender must satisfy them. The conditions of your Diversion Program may include;

    • Write a letter of apology to the victim
    • Get counselling (anger management, drug or alcohol treatment)
    • Do an education course (defensive driving course, drug awareness program)
    • Donate to a charity organization or others stipulated
    • Do community work.

    Does the Court accept all applications for Diversion Programs?

    Even when the victim accepts a diversion hearing instead of a normal proceeding, the Magistrate can still deny it. The court will only grant a diversion program where;

    • it is sure the person will not re-offend
    • it is the best judicial action
    • it concludes the offender is remorseful about their offence,
    • including other conditions of the court.

    If the court refuses an application for the Diversion Program, the court will revert to the original charge and hear the case. And if the court finds you guilty, it will show up in your criminal background check result.

    Offences that are not eligible for a Diversion Program

    Some offences are downrightly not eligible for Diversion Programs, and these offences are;

    What offences will show in Police Checks

    Rather than Diversion Programs being included on a Police Check, the following offences are shown on police check results:

    • Charges for offences in corporate organizations
    • Sexually related offences
    • Traffic charges for which an individual is convicted
    • Sentences and Convictions
    • Pending court charges and offences

    Is a non-conviction order the same as a Diversion Program?

    Some offenders may decide to take the humble route and plead guilty to the charges in court. It can make the magistrate impose lesser punishments and give them non-conviction sentencing.

    However, a non-conviction sentencing will still show on a Police Check. A non-conviction sentencing is quite different from applying for a Diversion Program.

    A Diversion Program is expunged from the Police/Criminal records as long as you maintain good behaviour.

    A Non-Conviction no matter how benign will still be disclosed in your criminal record check certificate.

    Is a Diversion Program infinite?

    No, there is a limit to the Diversion Programs the court can grant you. If you cross the threshold, the court will properly convict you for future offences.

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