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  • Spent Convictions Queensland QLD

    When people apply for a police background check in Queensland, like others, it displays all their convictions, charges, findings of guilt, and on. Yet, not all convictions are usually released by the issuing authority/police. Some of the records are considered "minor" or "pardoned" and taken off from the individual's criminal record after a certain period of time has lapsed. These records taken off/pardoned are called Spent convictions.

    Why should an offence become spent?

    The Criminal Law (Rehabilitation of offenders) Act 1986, which governs the Spent convictions scheme, does not do it out of spite to the community, citizens or the law. Instead, it is a way to ensure that an individual is not the subject of life-long discrimination or disadvantage because of "minor offences" on their criminal records.

    It agrees that: wrongdoers, especially of minor offences should be rehabilitated, assisted and integrated back to law-abiding citizens. The Spent Convictions legislations help those who were convicted of minor offences to "turn a new leaf".

    What are the benefits of a conviction being spent?

    When your offences qualify under the act by any means, you will enjoy the following benefits;

    • Convictions removed from your Background Check in Queensland
    • The result of your criminal record check in the state of Queensland will always return without the spent convictions. It means they will not appear in your updated police check or subsequent ones if you do not fall back to the crime. So, it presents an opportunity to apply for that role you may have been refused in the past.

    • Right to silence (no disclosure)
    • In addition to the conviction not showing on your Police Check, you have the right to remain mute about such a conviction. Except by court order or where it is explicitly required, you are under no obligation to reveal the details of that conviction.

    • Your Spent convictions are not released to other agencies
    • Once your offences become spent, it becomes unlawful for any one, except with a court order or your consent, to release the details of your conviction.

    What convictions can be spent?

    As mentioned earlier, not all offences are eligible for the Spent convictions under the Rehabilitation Scheme. Some “minor offences” will be spent automatically when the candidate satisfies some conditions or a period of being crime free elapses.

    Some offences can also be Spent if ordered by the court during convictions. Some examples are cases where the court finds you guilty but records no conviction against you.

    The requirements that make an offence spent in Queensland are;

      ✔ A rehabilitation period of 10 years has elapsed since the person was convicted in a District/Supreme court. It covers all convictions received as an adult.

      ✔ A rehabilitation period of 5 years has elapsed since the person was convicted in a Juvenile/Magistrate court. It covers all convictions received as a juvenile.

    It follows that;

    • Where an imprisonment term is imposed, it must be less than 30 months.
    • All required court orders relating to the sentencing are satisfied, such as restitution, community service, fines, and so on.
    • The individual must not be convicted of another offence during the 10 year rehab period.
    • None of the exceptions applies

    If all of these conditions are satisfied were related to the applicant, the conviction becomes automatically spent.

    Disclosure of a Spent Conviction

    Generally, it is unlawful to release details of a person’s spent convictions without their consent. It is backed by the legislation of Section 6 of the Act. It states all conditions where spent convictions can be disclosed;

    The person chooses to disclose it;

    • It is disclosed under the authority of a permit
    • The disclosure is sanctioned by the law, which covers all employment applications, licensing, and co.

    Furthermore, in Queensland, a third party can apply for a permit to access an individual's Spent conviction. The permit will only be granted if the third party has "sufficient and legitimate" purposes for the disclosure. It could be an agency, an employer in a sensitive sector, and so on.

    Where the Spent conviction is necessary

    In some cases, it becomes imperative to assess an individual’s older convictions. Where the decision maker must assess a person by their all of their convictions, the following conditions must apply;

      ✔ The person assessed should disclose it by law

      ✔ It is "imperative" the authority needs the Spent convictions to assess the person.

      ✔ The candidate is not relieved from his responsibility to disclose it.

    There are many other cases according to section 9A that requires an individual to disclose their Spent convictions. Anyone who wants to work as;

    What happens during the rehabilitation period?

    During the rehabilitation period, the individual must be of good behaviour and a legal model. It can also be a time they make restitution for their offence, including paying all fines, community work, and co.

    If a court convicts the individual during his rehabilitation period of any other criminal offence, the period restarts. It does not matter the offence he commits or how related it is to his current conviction which they are undergoing rehab.

    Commonwealth spent convictions

    Under the commonwealth laws and the crimes act of 1914, some offences can become spent if;

    • The person is granted pardon for a reason other than a wrongful conviction
    • The sentencing related to the conviction is non-custodial, or the term of imprisonment is 30 months or less.

    Like a spent conviction in Queensland, individuals are not obligated under any law to disclose the details of the Spent convictions. The disclosure order remains valid all through the States and Territories in Australia.

    The act also allows the individual to deny under oath that they are convicted of the offence. It also bans all who are privy to the details of their Spent convictions from disclosing it without their consent or court order.

    How do I apply for my convictions to be spent?

    In Queensland, there is no special application for the Spent convictions scheme. Offences will become automatically Spent once you satisfy all the conditions stated and will therefore not show up on a Nationally Coordinated Criminal History Check result.

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