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What does it mean if a person is found guilty, but the court has discharged them?

A offender who is found guilty is discharged when the court decides that punishment is not appropriate. This may be due to the character of the offender and/or the nature of the crime. There are two types of discharge:

Absolute discharge – This means that no further action will be taken. This may be because the offence was very minor, or the court considers that the experience has been enough of a deterrent. The offender will still receive a criminal record.

Conditional discharge – This means that no further action will be taken unless the person commits another offence within a specific time limit (specified by the court). The offender is released and the offence registered on their criminal record.

If, after you are made aware of the outcome of your case, you feel the need for emotional support, you can contact Victim Support or the Witness Service who will be able to assist you.

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