In Hong Kong, there are more criminal cases than one may expect. In relatively non-serious cases, if the defendant has a good background, it is possible to apply for an Offer No Evidence Bindover order (also known as O.N.E. Bindover or ONEBO).
If the Prosecutor agrees to the O.N.E. Bindover application and the Court allows it, the defendant will only have to agree to the facts submitted by the Prosecution during mention, and thereby admitting to the wrongdoing that he/ she had committed, be warned by the Court, and promise to the Court that he/she will keep the peace and behaves well during in the prescribed period of time. Usually, the Court would then order the defendant be "bound over" as such for 1-2 years . The practical outcome is that the defendant would have no criminal record.
It is a most precious opportunity for most defendants in criminal cases to "get a second chance" by getting the bindover treatment, as they would have no criminal record and can be relieved from the mental pressure from litigation (such as enduring a criminal trial or being imposed a sentence). They are given another chance to start afresh, behave well and work hard towards their goals in life.
Depending on the severity of each particular case, it is more common for a O.N.E. Bindover to be granted in cases involving relatively minor offences, such as:
- Theft eg. Shoplifting
- Criminal Damage
- Common Assault
- Unlawful Fight in a Public Place
- Possession of a Dangerous Drug eg. a small amount of cannabis / marijuana
According to the Prosecution Code of Department of Justice, the Prosecution MUST consider the following factors when dealing with a O.N.E. Bindover request:
- whether the public interest requires the Prosecution to proceed;
- whether the consequences to the offender would be out of all proportion to the gravity of the offence;
- the likely penalty in the event of conviction;
- the age of the offender, his or her record, character, mental state (at the time of offending and presently);
- the views of the victim;
- the attitude of the offender to the offence.
CPH Legal is experienced in handling criminal cases. Our Principal Solicitor, Mr. Eric P H Chan, serves as a criminal defence lawyer and as a fiat prosecutor briefed by Department of Justice, and is familiar with criminal procedure and the police's investigation process.
In appropriate cases, we have successfully negotiated and obtained the O.N.E. Bindover treatment for a large number of our clients, so that they would not be left with a criminal record.
If you are encountering a criminal case, and wish to deal with the case by way of O.N.E. Bindover, or wish to contest the case in Court, please contact our firm for consultation as soon as possible so as to allow sufficient time for case preparation.
If you or a family member are now involved in a criminal case and wish to obtain urgent legal advice and/or representation in Court, you can contact our WhatsApp hotline 6103 0006 or email us to set up a free WhatsApp consultation.