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How Long Do Police Records Stay On File

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Data Is Removed 10 Years After The Sentence Has Been Served

The right to record police
  • Imprisonment
  • Youth custody
  • Psychiatric care

Data should be retained in criminal records as long as the sorting out time for other data, removal time, has not arrived. The exception is monetary fines, as they do not affect sorting out time for other data.

The longest time data may be left in the criminal records is 20 years, with the exception of prison sentences that are removed later than 20 years after release and transfer to forensic psychiatric and removed later than 20 years after discharge .

If a reported crime does not result in any judgement, it will not appear in the criminal records. An acquittal in the first instance never appears in the records. If there is an acquittal in a higher court, the data is removed from the criminal record following the date when legal force was applied.

When Can I Be Asked To Provide A Background Check

A significant number of background checks are requested each year in Alberta. You may request a check for any reason. Most frequently, police background checks are used to inform employment and volunteer hiring decisions. However they are also being conducted by educational institutions, licensing bodies, adoptions, foster care, and for foreign travel.

What Is A Criminal Record

A criminal record is a formal documentation of offences youve committed, if convicted by a court. It is stored in the Australian national criminal database and is accessible by authorities for specific reasons, including a criminal background check.

A police check is the procedure for obtaining the background screening. Another party can request a national police check from an individual, but can only retrieve the information with their consent.

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I Was Found Not Guilty At Court Can I Apply To Have My Dna/fingerprints Removed

Yes. If you are arrested and charged by the police but subsequently not convicted then you may apply for the deletion of your biometric data and PNC records if you have no previous convictions . You will need to be able to satisfy the necessary grounds for such application. If your application is successful records of fingerprints will be deleted from IDENT1 and your DNA profile will be deleted from NDNAD together with the associated PNC record.

Does A Criminal Record Disclose All Offences

How Long Do Arrests Stay On Your Criminal Record?

With a criminal record, all offences you are convicted of by a court will be disclosed. There are some scenarios, however, when a criminal record is not immediately ruled. Certain factors are taken into consideration before an offence is registered on a criminal record.

The considerations can include

  • The nature and severity of the offence
  • The age of the offender
  • The offenders character
  • The severity of impact a criminal record will have on the offenders life

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Different Levels Of Check And Disclosures

An AccessNI check is a criminal history record check which provides different levels of information about you. There are three levels of check:

  • a basic check contains details of all convictions considered to be unspent
  • a standard check contains details of all spent and unspent convictions, informed warnings, cautions and diversionary youth conferences
  • an enhanced check contains the same information as a standard check and police records held locally. To work with children and vulnerable adults, the check may include information held by the Disclosure and Barring Service
Level of check
  • a fine for not having a TV licence

Average Length Of Time For Police Recordkeeping

The retention of police records depends on the level of crime and the state in which it occurred. Arrests prior to the age of 18 are often sealed however, thereafter, an arrest can remain on your record indefinitely. Records are kept and maintained on local, federal, and state levels. Many states have a Record Retention Board, chaired by the Secretary of State, that sets a range of time for the storage of police records. For example, in Missouri, arrest records are closed after 30 days if the person was found not guilty, or dismissed for any reason. The 30 day time frame is the average for many states. However, in some states, local law enforcement agencies keep records indefinitely, since digital methods do not require physical space to do so. Read More:How Long Are Police Records Kept?

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Does A Criminal Record Expire

Criminal records in Australia do not have an expiration date. The record remains permanent, except on occasions where a conviction becomes spent. A spent conviction limits the disclosure of details surrounding the offence after some time has passed.

The criminal record will always exist, but the offences in question will not be shown on a national police check following a police check.

Must I Apply To Have A Conviction Spent

Public records detail troubling past of Decherd police officer charged with aggravated assault

Where a conviction is accepted under the spent convictions scheme, it will be removed automatically from your criminal record. Generally, convictions released from a criminal record check are not eligible if they appear in the results.

If you believe that your offence is eligible under the scheme, there is an option to apply for it. You should contact the relevant police jurisdiction to discuss your case and the application process.

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What About Previous Convictions

In general, someone who already has a criminal record and commits another offence will be sentenced more severely than someone who has never been convicted of a criminal charge.

While an accused may have received a light sentence previously, a second conviction will come with increased penalties that can include jail.

When You Need To Tell Someone About Your Criminal Record

You might need to tell an organisation about your criminal record when applying for:

  • a job
  • a university or college course
  • insurance
  • housing

If you have a conviction from a court or a caution from the police, whether you need to tell the organisation depends on:

  • if they ask, for example in an interview or on an application form
  • when you got it
  • what type of punishment or sentence you got
  • the type of criminal record check they might request
  • Yes this page is useful
  • No this page is not useful

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How Do I Find Out If I Have A Non

Non-conviction records can result from a variety of interactions with the police and not all may be recorded. There are generally two ways to find out if you have a police record.

Option One: Request a detailed information check directly from the police service you interacted with, for example, the Calgary Police Service. To ensure you dont miss anything you will want to request the most detailed record check they provide. They may or may not provide you with a VSC. Typically, this information is only provided if you are applying for a specific employment or volunteer position where you will be working with the vulnerable sector.

There is often inconsistent release of information between the different police forces. It is recommended that you request the information directly from the police division that you interacted with. The police service you contact may have forms you can download from their website. An overview of the forms may be helpful in providing you with the information about the types of records that will be revealed on the check.


A fee is often associated with requesting your record.

If you are unable to get a thorough check, you can try filing an access to information request outlined in option two.

Option Two: File a request under access to information or privacy legislation act request. Again, you should make this request directly to the police service with which you had your interaction.

Is It Lawful To Be Asked About A Criminal Record Or Spent Conviction


There are no laws in Victoria against employers who discriminate against someone because of a current criminal record. However, from 1 December 2021, an employer cannot discriminate against you because of a spent conviction.

Get help if you think you may have been treated unfairly because of a spent conviction.

may be able to help with complaints if you feel you have been treated unfairly because of a spent conviction.

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Revocation Of A Record Suspension

Record suspensions are permanent unless any one of these three conditions occur:

  • The individual receives another conviction of an offence.
  • Evidence shows that the person granted the record suspension is no longer acting as a good citizen, or
  • Evidence finds that an individual knowingly made false or deceptive statements on their record suspension application

Applying For Jobs In New Zealand

Youll need to agree to give your full record when you apply for certain jobs, for example:

  • police roles
  • judges, justices of the peace or community magistrates
  • national security roles.

It is against the law in New Zealand for anyone to ask or make you reveal your full record unless the above specific cases apply.

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Rehabilitation Periods For Persons Eighteen Years And Older


Where the sentence imposed does not include imprisonment

Three years

Where sentence imposed is imprisonment not exceeding six months

Five years

Where sentence imposed is imprisonment for more than six months but not exceeding 36 months

Seven years

Where sentence imposed is imprisonment for more than 36 months but not exceeding 5 years

Ten years

How Long Does A Peace Bond Stay On Your Record


Home » How Long Does a Peace Bond Stay on Your Record?

Peace bonds are protection orders created by the court under section 810 of the Criminal Code. Typically, peace bonds are used if the authorities feel someone is likely to commit a criminal offence, yet there are no reasonable grounds to believe that an offence has been committed.

Essentially, a peace bond is a promise not to do what they think you were about to do. You can also obtain a peace bond from the court against someone else. Whether a peace bond has been entered against you, or you are interested in having one administered, the court will impose conditions designed to prevent the defendant from committing harm to the other person, their spouse, common-law partner, or child or from committing property damage.

Obtaining a peace bond can take months, and if you enter into one, it can have serious repercussions for the future.

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What If There Is No Internal Appeal Process Or My Appeal Is Rejected By Police

If the police services refuse your appeal there are independent oversight bodies that may be able to help you. You can try your appeal with the relevant police commission, police services board or independent civilian oversight agencies.

In Alberta, police oversight agencies include:

Who Is Responsible For Scheduling Records

Under the Archives and Recordkeeping Act, government bodies are responsible for preparing records schedules for records in their custody or under their control. Schedules are prepared in consultation with the Archives , according to guidelines established by the Archives. Schedules are approved by the Archivist. For more information on records scheduling, see Procedure GRO 1: Preparing Records Schedules .

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Is There Any Information A Potential Employer May Not Obtain From The Police Nor Use In Making A Decision About My Suitability For The Position

Federal and provincial human rights codes protect the relationships between you and your employer. Under section 7 of the Alberta Human Rights Act, a private sector employer may not discriminate against an applicant because of a physical or mental disability. There is similar protection under the Canadian Human Rights Act). In addition, the Canadian Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination relating to a conviction for which a pardon has been granted or a record suspended ).

If you have come into contact with the police due to a mental health issue the police may have kept a record of this interaction. Generally an employment decision cannot be based on this information . At issue may be the circumstances that you have a mental health issue on record.

Absolute And Conditional Discharges

How Long Do Arrests Stay On Your Criminal Record?

If you’re found guilty of a crime, you may receive an absolute or conditional discharge instead of being convicted. We seal these records based on the schedule set out in the .

If you received an absolute discharge:

  • On or after July 24, 1992: We seal your absolute discharge record automatically one year after the date you are sentenced
  • Before July 24, 1992: You can send a written request to seal the record

If you received a conditional discharge:

  • On or after July 24, 1992: We seal your conditional discharge record three years after the date you are sentenced
  • Before July 24, 1992: You can send a written request to seal the record

Requesting to seal discharges received before July 24, 1992

If an absolute or conditional discharge received before July 24, 1992, still appears on your record, you may request the sealing of your record for free. Print off and complete the Requesting to Seal Absolute and/or Conditional Discharge form and send it to:

Royal Canadian Mounted Police

  • date of sentence

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We Still Need Our Records Why Do We Have To Schedule Them

Records schedules identify records held by government, and provide an important inventory needed for planning, protecting and providing access to records. Retention and disposition should be identified in advance for all active records. Once this has been done, the approved schedules provide a plan for recordkeeping.

Retention requirements may affect how records are kept , so these requirements should be known from the time the records are created. They should also be understood and taken into account when considering converting records to microfilm or digital images for current business purposes. The retention requirements set out in records schedules are business requirements that should be included in the planning of electronic systems.

Records schedules identify records of archival value, and this allows government to plan for their permanent preservation.

Finally, the Archives and Recordkeeping Act requires government bodies to prepare records schedules for all records in their custody or control.

Can An Employer Refuse To Hire Me Because I Have A Criminal Record

If your criminal record has been suspended, or you have been found guilty of an offence that is not connected to the job, nobody can fire you, refuse to hire you or put you at a disadvantage because of your criminal record.

However, an employer can fire you or refuse to hire you if you do not have the qualifications and skills required for the job.

In this case, it might be difficult to prove you were fired or refused solely because of your criminal record. In addition, a criminal record can harm your chances of working in certain sectors, such as the police or employment that involves money. You cannot work for the police if you were found guilty of a criminal offence.

Also, you might be refused a licence to practice certain professions governed by the Professional Code if you were found guilty of a criminal offence and have not gotten a record suspension.

These professions include for example nurses, acupuncturists, geologists, lawyers, doctors, dentists, pharmacists, engineers and architects.

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Invisible But Not Erased

Its important to note that in the case of , what is actually happening is that public government records of a criminal conviction are sealed. This means that while the general public may go online to check for a criminal record and find nothing, the record of that conviction does still exist, but its only accessible under very specific circumstances by legal agencies. Its also important to note that while even a sexual offense conviction can technically be suspended in Canada, a persons name may still be present and come up as flagged under certain searches.

A final note about is that while this all applies to activity within Canada, it does NOT apply to travel to the United States. American immigration keeps their own database of Canadian criminal convictions, which does not purge convictions should a record suspension be obtained. This means that even people with a suspended record are likely to encounter difficulties when attempting to cross the border, should a records check occur, unless a special entry waiver is obtained to present beforehand.

Pardons Canada

What Is A Youth Record

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A record is anything that contains information created or kept for the purposes of the YCJA or for investigating an offence that could be prosecuted under the YCJA. For example, the following information may be part of a youth record: name or birth date details about arrest, charge or sentence and information provided by family members, neighbours, school authorities and victims.

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Offences More Than Ten Years Old

Sometimes a criminal record, including a spent conviction that is more than ten years old, may be released if:

  • the criminal record has an offence that resulted in a custodial sentence longer than 30 months
  • the criminal record includes a serious offence of violence or a sex offence and the criminal records check is for a job or voluntary work with children or vulnerable people
  • the criminal record includes serious offences where the result was not guilty because of insanity or mental impairment.

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Disclaimer: The material in this print-out relates to the law as it applies in the state of Victoria. It is intended as a general guide only. Readers should not act on the basis of any material in this print-out without getting legal advice about their own particular situations. Victoria Legal Aid disclaims any liability howsoever caused to any person in respect of any action taken in reliance on the contents of the publication.

We help Victorians with their legal problems and represent those who need it most. Find legal answers, chat with us online, or call us. You can speak to us in English or ask for an interpreter. You can also find more legal information at

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