(1) This section does not apply to—
S. 59(1)(a) amended by No. 56/2013 s. 34(1).
(a) an offence punishable by a minimum or fixed sentence or penalty, including cancellation or suspension of a licence or permit to drive a motor vehicle and disqualification under the Road Safety Act 1986 or the Sentencing Act 1991 from obtaining such a licence or permit or from driving a motor vehicle on a road in Victoria but not including the incurring of demerit points under the Road Safety Act 1986 or regulations made under that Act; or
(b) an offence against section 49(1) of the Road Safety Act 1986 not referred to in paragraph (a).
(2) If, at any time before taking a formal plea from an accused in a criminal proceeding for a summary offence or an indictable offence that may be heard and determined summarily—
(a) the accused acknowledges to the Magistrates' Court responsibility for the offence; and
(b) it appears appropriate to the Magistrates' Court, which may inform itself in any way it considers appropriate, that the accused should participate in a diversion program; and
(c) both the prosecution and the accused consent to the Magistrates' Court adjourning the proceeding for this purpose—
the Magistrates' Court may adjourn the proceeding for a period not exceeding 12 months to enable the accused to participate in and complete the diversion program.
(3) An accused's acknowledgment to the Magistrates' Court of responsibility for an offence is inadmissible as evidence in a proceeding for that offence and does not constitute a plea.
(4) If an accused completes a diversion program to the satisfaction of the Magistrates' Court—
(a) no plea to the charge is to be taken; and
(b) the Magistrates' Court must discharge the accused without any finding of guilt; and
(c) the fact of participation in the diversion program is not to be treated as a finding of guilt except for the purposes of—
(i) Division 1 of Part 3 and Part 10 of the Confiscation Act 1997 ; and
(ii) section 9 of the Control of Weapons Act 1990 ; and
(iii) section 151 of the Firearms Act 1996 ; and
(iv) Part 4 of the Sentencing Act 1991 ; and
(d) the fact of participation in the diversion program and the discharge of the accused is a defence to a later charge for the same offence or a similar offence arising out of the same circumstances.
(5) If an accused does not complete a diversion program to the satisfaction of the Magistrates' Court and the accused is subsequently found guilty of the charge, the Magistrates' Court must take into account the extent to which the accused complied with the diversion program when sentencing the accused.
(6) Nothing in this section affects the requirement to observe the rules of natural justice.
(7) This section does not affect the incurring of demerit points under the Road Safety Act 1986 or regulations made under that Act.
Division 3—Sentence indication
S. 60 amended by No. 49/2012 s. 4 (ILA s. 39B(1)).