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Having a criminal record can have various implications on your personal and professional life. When it comes to job applications, insurance claims, and other important aspects of your life - understanding the legal requirements for disclosing your criminal record is essential.

Unrecorded Convictions

First, it’s important to understand what garners a criminal record. In Queensland, if you have pleaded guilty or have been found guilty of an offence you will have a criminal record. However, not all convictions are recorded.

In some cases, the magistrate or judge may decide against recording the conviction. Unrecorded convictions may still need to be disclosed in certain situations, such as job applications for aged care work, law, volunteering, childcare work, or work with children. It may also be required for obtaining insurance or an overseas visa.

Duration of Criminal Record

The duration that a criminal record lasts will depend on certain criteria.

According to Queensland law, you can legally say you have no convictions if the following criteria are met:

  1. You were not sentenced to a prison term exceeding 30 months or at all;

  2. Adequate time has passed, which is 10 years if convicted as an adult in the Supreme Court or district court, or 5 years for other cases; and

  3. You have not broken the law following your convicted offence.

If these criteria are met, you are no longer required to disclose your convictions. However, it's important to note that certain prosecutors, courts, or job hiring processes may still require you to provide a criminal history statement - even if the criteria have been met.

Seeking legal support during such events can help avoid confusion and misunderstandings.

Spent Convictions Scheme

The spent convictions scheme allows for certain less serious offences to not be disclosed after a period of good behaviour.

However, it's important to note that the spent convictions scheme does not apply to sex offences. Records and criminal conviction history for such offences can be disclosed indefinitely; regardless of the time elapsed post-conviction.

To Disclose or Not to Disclose

It can be challenging to determine what needs to be disclosed when it comes to recorded, unrecorded, or spent convictions.

Generally, unrecorded convictions do not need to be disclosed.

It is important to understand the difference between being asked about prior convictions and being asked if you have previously been found guilty or have pleaded guilty.

Navigating the world of insurance claims, job applications, and other situations with a criminal record can be complex, and seeking professional legal advice is the best approach.

Do you know when to disclose?

Understanding your criminal record and the legal requirements for disclosure is crucial in Queensland.

Whether it's knowing when to disclose unrecorded convictions, understanding the duration of your criminal record or navigating the spent convictions scheme - seeking legal assistance can help ensure compliance with Queensland law.

If you have a criminal record, it's essential to stay informed and seek legal advice to effectively manage the implications on various aspects of your life.

Creevey Horrell Lawyers

Based in Brisbane, Roma, Toowoomba and Townsville.


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