What are spent and unspent convictions?

February 13th, 2013 by Matt Tuckey

Any conviction, caution, reprimand or warning that an individual may receive is held on their Criminal Record, on the Police National Computer. After a certain amount of time (as defined in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and amended by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment Act 2012) this record will become ‘spent’ meaning that it will not appear on a Basic Disclosure. For exact time periods relating to types of offence please contact the SCRO or DBS directly. There exist some offences that are classed as ‘non-recordable’ meaning they are not stored on the PNC and are instantly ‘spent’. This is is most commonly ‘on the spot’ fines but for more information contact the DBS directly.

Under pre-May 2013 Legislation an Enhanced and Standard Disclosure would show all previous conviction information. Since 29th May 2013 there are certain conditions whereby conviction information is ‘filtered’ and some will not be displayed on the Certificate. Please view our webpage for more information about the Filtering of Conviction Information.

Within this new legislation there is a large list of conviction types and offences that will never be filtered from a Certificate. For more information go to www.gov.uk/dbs

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