Please be ready with your application reference number starting with 'P'. For example P1234567
Some offences can be removed from a person’s criminal record, not out of the convictions losing significance, but following legislations of the Spent Convictions Act of 2009. These offences are referred to as "Spent Convictions".
All spent convictions are ‘legally removed’ from a person’s Police Check in South Australia (SA) and will not appear even in subsequent Police Check results except the individual relapses into such offence. When an offence becomes Spent, it is unlawful for any agency/employer or anyone to hold that offence against the person.
However, there are several reasons why an offence may become spent. These offences have nothing to do with the person's status but with certain conditions prescribed by the Act or in the court by a magistrate. For some offences, the individual may have to make a separate application to have their conviction Spent.
Despite how incredible and generous it will be to a recipient on having their convictions Spent, not all offences can become "spent". Only "minor" offences usually qualify for the Spent convictions scheme. There are some conditions that one must satisfy before the offence are spent, including;
It follows that;
Spent convictions enjoy some privileges even after the offence is removed from the police check of the individual. They include;
When an offence becomes Spent, the holder of the police criminal check can refuse to disclose details of that conviction. In other words, you are not under oath to disclose the details of a spent conviction except when applying for certain prescribed roles under a relevant Act.
Although your Spent convictions are not out of your criminal records, the police or other privy officials cannot disclose details of the offence without your consent or a court order. Asides from a court order or legislation in sensitive roles, only you can control the disclosure of your Spent offences.
Some organisations or employers may discriminate against individuals who have certain offences in their criminal record checks. While the State has a special agency (E.O.C) that oversees the complaints of aggrieved applicants, a spent conviction will put it out of the way for good.
The maximum penalty under the legislation for indiscriminate disclosure of Spent conviction detail is a $10,000 fine. However, a case may be made for the culprit if the owner of the conviction;
If a conviction on an individual’s check qualifies under the Spent convictions scheme, it is automatically removed out of their crime record check. A particular example of this is where the court finds guilt but records no conviction against the individual.
However, aside from these convictions that are spent automatically, other offences are;
While sexually related offences in Australia are "serious" criminal offences, some "technically reasonable" qualify for a spent offence. However, these offences must be under the designated/prescribed sexual-related offences as per the state legislation.
However, if an application for a prescribed/designated related offence to be spent is refused, the person cannot make similar applications for another two (2) years.
Most of the offences considered "morally improper” or against public decency fall under this category; they are now mostly decriminalized. Please refer to the most recent South Australian legislation of further information.
The Spent convictions scheme is not as generous towards "serious" offences or other offences that pose serious harm to the people or community.
Some of the offences that will never be eligible to be spent are;
When any of your convictions become spent, it does not remove or influence other proceedings or punitive measures imposed. A conviction that becomes spent does not affect;
The SA Spent convictions law also applies to convictions from offences outside SA. However, an eligible sexual related offence conviction outside SA cannot be Spent under the SA laws.
Mutual principles can apply to the conviction given in a recognized jurisdiction in Australia outside the SA. It follows that offences that qualify as spent in that State/Territory will be considered for the SA spent convictions scheme.
However, if the offence is not eligible for the Spent convictions (ceases to be spent) in that State/Territory, it will not qualify for the SA spent convictions.
All spent convictions are removed and will reflect in an updated national criminal history check result. You can obtain an updated police check when you apply online via ANCC (Australia National Character Check).
Spent Convictions Act 2009 - https://www.legislation.sa.gov.au/LZ/C/A/SPENT%20CONVICTIONS%20ACT%202009.aspx
Criminal Law Consolidation Act 1935 - https://www.legislation.sa.gov.au/LZ/C/A/CRIMINAL%20LAW%20CONSOLIDATION%20ACT%201935.aspx
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