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Home Blog Applying for spent conviction in Western Australia WA

Applying for spent conviction in Western Australia WA

It is now common for organisations to request national police checks from candidates during recruitment. This is particularly common where the role entails contact with vulnerable populations or a level of trust.

Many prospective employees try hard to ensure a clean record to be eligible for all qualifications during employment. However, what happens to those who have criminal convictions in WA? How can WA based applicants apply to have their old convictions removed from their criminal records? The information below explains how.

Can offences be removed from an applicant’s Police Check result?

In some State/territory, these "minor offences" are removed/pardoned from the applicant's police check results automatically. This scheme is known as Spent Convictions Scheme legislation and is subject to State legislation for each Australian state and territory. It is unfair to hold down an applicant with "lesser convictions" equally with one who was convicted of a grave offence. The scheme also helps protect employees from employment prejudice.

In WA, applicants need to apply to the WA police force to have their convictions to be classified as “spent” after a certain time period has lapsed as per the rules of the spent convictions scheme in WA.

Therefore, if an applicant is applying for a police background check in WA and would like their old convictions to be removed, they must make an application to the WA police force for this.

How can I apply to get an offence spent in WA?

Individuals can apply through the commissioner of Police in the State of WA to have their “lesser” conviction spent if they have followed all prescribed conditions.

The following link to the WA government website can be used for the purpose of applying for a conviction to be spent in the state of Westeran Australia (WA) -

Convictions can also be Spent through the court sentencing or pronouncement under the Sentencing Act of 1995 and Convictions Act of 1988.

In applying for a national criminal history check, it updates all your criminal history. An updated police check removes all convictions granted as "spent". However, there is a fee to obtain an updated check.

Furthermore, there is a law that allows individuals to apply immediately for their offences to be spent. It follows that such offence(s) are not recorded as a conviction in the sentencing.

What are the benefits of applying for your offence to be spent in WA?

Are you planning on applying for a role or accreditation anytime soon? Have you been stalling to apply for some of your offences to be spent?

Here are some of the benefits you get if the State orders your offences Spent;

Can anyone have their convictions spent in WA?

In most circumstances, if you live in Western Australia (WA) and any of the convictions on your records qualify for a spent convictions scheme (e.g. non serious offences) then you can apply as long as the waiting period has passed.

Applicants must have satisfied a "waiting period". During this period, they must not get another conviction. The periods in WA are;

However, you cannot be eligible for the spent convictions scheme if the conviction carries a life sentencing.

Which offences are usually excluded from the Spent Convictions Scheme?

As you may have noticed above, not all convictions may qualify for the spent convictions scheme and will therefore be a permanent record. Some offences are considered by the state too "serious” to be pardoned or removed from an individual’s police background records.

Some of these convictions are;

Some of these convictions above can never qualify to be part of the spent convictions scheme in WA or even the Commonwealth of Australia.

Generally, Western Australia categorises “lesser” and “serious” offences by;

Can serious offences be “spent”?

For serious offences that are dealt with in the legal court (District/Supreme), all applications for the conviction to be “spent” should be done through the court itself.

However, if a judge has refused to make a spent conviction order for that offence within the last two years, you cannot apply within that period.

You should put in an application for a spent offence after 10 years of “good behaviour” plus the length of the term if an imprisonment term is imposed. The length of term is the actual imprisonment term given by the court rather than the actual time spent in prison.

What do you need to apply for the Spent conviction scheme in WA?

Before applying for your offence to become spent, there are some documents you must prepare;