As of 1 July 2022, the final phase of the spent conviction scheme came into effect. This allows individuals with serious convictions, who have completed the relevant ‘conviction free period’, to apply to the Magistrates’ Court to have the conviction spent. The conviction free period for a serious conviction is 5 years for children and 10 years for adults (including people under 18 who were found guilty in an adult court).
A serious criminal conviction is a conviction considered too serious to become spent automatically after the conviction free period. There are some additional requirements, which include:
- You were a child or young offender when the conviction was imposed; or
- You were an adult (or found guilty in an adult court) convicted of a sexual offence or serious violence offence and no term of imprisonment was imposed; or
- You were an adult (or found guilty in an adult court) and you were sentenced to less than 5 years imprisonment.
The court will consider a number of different factors and circumstances when considering whether to render a conviction spent. The Chief Commissioner of Police can also oppose the application. However, the process does give individuals with aged criminal convictions an opportunity to have those convictions spent in order to take advantage of certain job opportunities and avoid the stigma of a criminal history. If you want to know more about the scheme, contact our office to discuss the prospect of applying to have your conviction spent.