What is a Spent Conviction Order?
A Spent Conviction Order is an order which declares a conviction spent. Generally when a person's conviction is spent it means the person can lawfully withhold disclosing the fact of the conviction. There are exceptions to this general rule
Once your conviction is declared spent, the conviction will not appear on your National Police Certificate.
If you are completing a job application form or a travel visa application form and your conviction has been declared spent you do not have to declare on the form the fact of the charge or conviction unless the form specifically requires you to also declare any spent convictions. The criminal law specialists at Perrella Legal are ready and able to give you advice on all aspects of a spent conviction order.
How do I apply for a Spent Conviction Order?
There are a number of ways to apply to have a conviction declared spent and different criteria apply depending upon whether you are applying at the time of sentencing or after sentencing and whether the offence is a state offence or a federal offence. If you apply to have your conviction spent after the sentencing has taken place you will have to wait the mandatory waiting period, which varies in length depending upon the seriousness of the offence. The waiting period can be as long as 10 years after the conviction was recorded.
If you apply to have your conviction spent after the sentencing has taken place you will have to wait the mandatory waiting period, which varies in length depending upon the seriousness of the offence. The waiting period can be as long as 10 years after the conviction was recorded.
Section 45 of the Sentencing Act 1995 (WA) allows for a Spent Conviction Order to be made at the time of sentencing. Section 45 provides that a court sentencing an offender is not to make a spent conviction order unless —
it considers the offender should be relieved immediately of the adverse effect that the conviction might have on the offender.
A spent conviction order cannot be made at the time of sentencing where an offender is sentenced to a term of imprisonment (suspended or immediate) or an intensive supervision order. However, an application to have the conviction declared spent can be made after the relevant waiting period has expired and the relevant criteria is met.
The Commonwealth sentencing regime does not allow for an application for a Spent Conviction Order at the time of sentencing like the state regime. However, an offender can avoid a conviction at the time of sentencing for a federal offence if the court is satisfied the charge is proved but is of the opinion, having regard to:
that it is inexpedient to inflict any punishment, or to inflict any punishment other than a nominal punishment, or that it is expedient to release the offender on probation.
In the above circumstances the court may order the charge be dismissed (no conviction recorded) or discharge the offender without proceeding to conviction (no conviction recorded) upon the offender giving security, with or without a surety, by recognizance or otherwise to comply with certain conditions.
If a conviction is recorded at the time of sentencing for a federal offence, the conviction will become spent after the relevant waiting period and where criteria is met.
Spent Conviction Orders we have obtained
Our lawyers have successfully applied for Spent Conviction Orders on numerous occasions for clients charged with all manner of offences. The criminal law specialists at Perrella Legal have successfully obtained Spent Conviction Orders for clients who were charged with the following offences: