This legal glossary is a basic guide to common legal terms. A lawyer is in the best position to advise you about your legal rights and responsibilities.
Different terms may have different meanings based on the specific area of law or the context in which they are being used. For legal terms not referred to in this glossary, or for more comprehensive definitions, you may wish to refer to a legal dictionary or to an internet resource.
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- A release from obligation when a legal duty has ended. In the criminal context, this is also used as an alternative sentencing option for an accused who has been found guilty. The result of a discharge is that the offender has no criminal record of a finding of guilt.
- Absolute Discharge
- A conviction is not entered against the accused and any information or record relating to that offence cannot be disclosed after one year from the date of the discharge order.
- Conditional Discharge
- A conviction is not entered against the accused if certain conditions that are imposed are met. Any information or record relating to the offence cannot be disclosed after three years from the date of the discharge order, as long as all the conditions are met.