Please be ready with your application reference number starting with 'P'. For example P1234567
Having a criminal record against your name on the criminal database can be difficult to navigate in Australia. Most people will rather and wisely enter into an intervention program or non-conviction bonds the court offers them instead of a conviction sentencing.
However, if you already have a conviction in your criminal history, there are some programmes under the law that can clear your records. One such program is the Spent Convictions Scheme.
The Road and Traffic Acts in various States and Territories prohibits certain behaviours and inactions of drivers on Australian roads.
For some of these offences, the Police may impose the penalties directly by issuing a Traffic ticket. However, for some serious offences or aggravating circumstances of these actions, the offending driver or owner of the vehicle will get a court summons.
If the Magistrate or Judge finds you guilty of these offences, they will issue a conviction. And it will show up in your criminal record check in Australia.
So to make it clear, traffic offences that attract a sentencing, penalty or conviction from an Australian legal court will show up as a traffic offence on a police check.
Offences eligible for the spent convictions scheme will be removed from the candidate's Criminal records automatically (except in WA).
However, certain conditions must be met before the Conviction can become spent. It does not matter whether it was traffic, domestic, public or other types of offence.
Some of these conditions are;
So, if your traffic offence satisfies all the conditions, it will become “Spent” after the waiting period.
Under this scheme, eligible offences are removed from the candidate's Criminal records if the "waiting period" elapses, satisfying all conditions. It also limits the disclosure of the older offences (eligible) once the “waiting period” stipulated by the law expires and some conditions are complete.
Generally, the waiting period is;
During this period, the candidate promises to be of good behaviour and abide by all the legislation. They must not get another conviction by any other court during this period.
If they commit another offence and get another conviction, then the waiting period restarts.
The waiting period is also called the;
No, not all traffic offences will show in your police criminal records in the first place.
All the offences for which you only get a traffic ticket, police caution, fines or other penalties settled on the spot will not show up in your Criminal records. However, these records are kept at the traffic offence or the Police records.
The Police can reference these records in court in future court proceedings but will not be part of your Australian criminal records.
Also, if you challenge a Traffic offence/penalty in a court, and you win the objection, the matter is closed. It will never be on your records. Dropped or dismissed charges do not show up on a criminal history check.
No, not all traffic offences you get a court conviction on are eligible for the Spent Convictions Scheme. Remember that the Spent Convictions scheme is for certain “eligible” offences; these offences are usually considered lesser under the Australian laws.
Offences that incurred penalties over 30 months under the Australian laws can never become Spent.
Some of these non-eligible offences include;
Other offences that can never become Spent under the Australian laws are;
Asides from Western Australia (WA), eligible convictions are wiped of your criminal records "automatically" once the conditions are satisfied. You don’t have to apply to a court, judge, or Police commissioner to have your offence Spent. In WA, an application needs to be made to the WA Police Force.
However, you should apply for the spent convictions scheme if you think it satisfies all criteria as stipulated in the Spent Convictions Scheme of your jurisdiction.
However, some roles or court orders may require you to disclose these records. The legislation makes it mandatory for an applicant to disclose details of their spent convictions, especially where their roles involve sensitive positions.
Some examples where you may need to disclose your spent traffic offences are;
Applicants can obtain their criminal history check online via the Australian National Character Check website. The majority of checks are dispatched to applicants within 24 hours of completion. The remaining which are referred for manual processing take longer to process.
A criminal record is not the same as a Police/Traffic record.
A traffic record contains details of all your traffic offences, including tickets, fines, license seizures, warnings and so on. And they do not appear on your Criminal records unless the court convicts you on any of them.
A Criminal record contains all your dealings with the Australian laws, excluding the Spent convictions. Some examples of the offences on your criminal records are;
Part VIIC of the Crimes Act 1914 (Cth) - https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2021C00127
Part 2 of the Criminal Records Act 1991 No 8 - https://legislation.nsw.gov.au/view/whole/html/inforce/current/act-1991-008#pt.2
Spent Convictions Act 1988 - https://www.legislation.wa.gov.au/legislation/statutes.nsf/main_mrtitle_912_homepage.html
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