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  • Writer's pictureSam Kuhn


An official keeping of all prior convictions. Your criminal record.

If you have pleaded guilty or have been found guilty, you will have with you a criminal record. If you have been found not guilty of the alleged offence, the offence will not show up on your criminal record.

Unrecorded Convictions

As all cases vary, the magistrate or judge may decide against recording the conviction. This is something to confirm with the magistrate as there are often exceptions involved.

Sometimes you will need to supply a copy of your criminal record or disclose all convictions (even unrecorded) in job applications. This often applies in aged care work, law, volunteering, childcare work or work with children. It’s also needed to apply for insurance or get an overseas visa.

How long does the criminal record last?

It’s not all set in stone, as criminal records don’t necessarily last forever.

The following criteria must be met for you to legally say you have no convictions:

• You weren’t sentenced to prison term exceeding 30 months (or at all); • Adequate time has passed (10 years if convicted as an adult in the Supreme Court or district court, 5 years for other cases); and • You haven’t broken the law in the time following your convicted offence.

If this criteria has been met, you are no longer be required to disclose your convictions.

Sometimes, even when criteria has been met, certain prosecutors, courts or job hiring's may require you to supply a criminal history statement. It’s important to obtain legal support during any of these events to avoid confusions and misunderstandings.

Spent Convictions Scheme

What is the spent convictions scheme? If you have been convicted for a less serious offence, the scheme allows for that offence to not be disclosed after a period of good behaviour. Further, it prohibits your criminal record being used or disclosed in an unauthorised form.

The spent convictions scheme will not apply to sex offences. In these cases, the records and criminal conviction history can be forever disclosed no matter time elapsed post-conviction.

Discrimination in the workplace for criminal record

In Queensland there are no official anti-discrimination laws made specifically for protection against criminal record discrimination.

If you believe you’re receiving unfair workplace discrimination due to your criminal record, you can complain to the Australian Human Rights Commission. If this is the case, it’s greatly suggested for you to obtain legal assistance before moving forward with the complaint.

To disclose or not to disclose

It can be challenging to be aware of what you have to disclose when it comes to recorded, unrecorded or spent convictions. Generally, any unrecorded convictions do not need to be disclosed.

Be aware that being asked if you have previously been found guilty or have pleaded guilty is very different to being asked about prior convictions.

To navigate the world of insurance claims, job applications and more with a criminal record – it’s best to seek professional legal advice.

You can talk with our team at Creevey Russell Lawyers if you’d like support with your conviction history OR require expert representation in any criminal proceeding.

Find out more here


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