Spent Conviction Orders (SCO’s) can be applied for following an accused person being found guilty of an offence. If granted, the conviction is not recorded against that person and will not appear on a Police clearance. Crucially, the person granted the SCO ordinarily does not then have to disclose it as a conviction. An SCO can be granted at sentencing, or subsequently by successfully making a separate application.
SCO’s are not only available for ‘minor’ crimes and in some instances it may be appropriate to apply for one even if the offence is of a reasonably serious nature, provided that the statutory criteria set out in the Sentencing Act 1995 can be satisfied. What is an appropriate application in one case may not be in another and as such, each application has to be assessed on merit.
Further, where a person who has previously been convicted of a more serious criminal offence (excluding life imprisonment) then if that person can demonstrate that he or she has been successfully rehabilitated (in simple terms this will likely require a lengthy period of time with no further convictions as a starting point) then an application can be made for those historic convictions to be ‘spent’.
You may also like to also note that the Spent Convictions Act 1988 does provide some exemptions to certain agencies accessing information about SCO’s. These include the Police, the Courts and some government departments (eg for licensing purposes).
It is well known that the potentially adverse impacts and consequences of having a conviction or multiple convictions can impact a person’s life on an ongoing basis. For example, commonly discussed consequences include making obtaining employment, rental housing or travel to certain jurisdictions more difficult or in some cases, impossible. Lesser considered consequences can be practical matters such as paying increased insurance premiums where relevant convictions may need to be disclosed for the purposes of assessing insurer risk.
If you have read this far and have concluded that now may be the time to obtain some practical advice in relation to your situation, perhaps you ought to get in touch. Austral Legal can help and we offer an initial discounted 30-minute SmartMove appointment for $80 (by phone or in person). Bookings can be made by sending us a message, calling our office (08 9745 9550) or online through our website and as you can probably tell, we like helping people out. Beyond that initial appointment, it may be possible for us to offer you a fixed fee for any additional legal services you may require, giving you cost certainty up-front. Austral Legal. Practical advice.