How To Clear Criminal Records In The Uk
If you want to know how to clear criminal records in the UK, first, its important to know that deleting police data is discretionary.
Thus, if you already have data in your criminal history that was taken lawfully, it is likely police may refuse to remove the record. No matter how minor the offence was.
If you want to clear your criminal records so that it doesnt appear in your DBS check, you must first realise the magnitude of the offence you committed. It is rare to clear your PNC data.
Do I Need To Hire A Lawyer If I Want To Clear My Criminal Record
While it is not necessary that you hire a lawyer in order to get your criminal record cleared, it may still be in your best interest to retain one.
A qualified expungement attorney can make sure that your record is eligible to be cleared, can help you fill out any required paperwork before filing, can answer any questions that you may have about the process, and will ensure that you are in compliance with all relevant local laws in your area.
It is also strongly recommended that you hire a local expungement attorney when your case involves a more complex criminal charge, such as a felony. Although you might be able to navigate the process for clearing an old misdemeanor on your own, felonies are much harder to get expunged from your record.
As such, if you are attempting to clear a serious misdemeanor or lesser felony from your criminal record, you may want a lawyer who has experience in these matters. They will know the proper laws that apply and will be able to conduct legal research to determine the best way for how defendants in your state can go about getting their records expunged.
Finally, depending on your situation, you may need a lawyer regardless to appear in court with you to resolve any related issues before your record can be cleared.
What Does Presented Mean
Because certain expunction eligibility scenarios hinge on when an indictment or information has been presented, it is important to understand what that means. Article 12.06 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure defines a felony indictment as being Presented when it has been duly acted upon by the grand jury and received by the court. Article 12.07 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure defines a misdemeanor information as being Presented when it has been filed by the proper officer in the proper court.
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Who Owns The Information
Under the Data Protection Act, the police are the Data Owners and Data Controllers of the information on the Police National Computer . They own and maintain the information.
The DBS uses the information from the PNC to produce the criminal record certificate but cannot amend or delete information. The filtering of certain cautions and convictions from standard and enhanced certificates is determined by the DBS based on government legislation.
How Might My Criminalrecord Affect Me
Your criminal record may affect you in a number of critical ways, including employment, ability to be bonded, travelling to the United States, volunteering, attending school programs, renting housing, adoption and more. Canada is one of the few countries in the world that offers the opportunity to obtain a Pardon and have a second chance at your record. Thus, there truly is no excuse for keeping your criminal record in Canada.
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How Do You Know If Your Criminal Record Was Cleared
One way to check whether a criminal record was actually cleared is to conduct a simple online search. Criminal records that have been expunged should not be showing up in a public records search. A person can also see if their record is still viewable on a courtâs website or request a background check from a private company that does them .
As mentioned above, most states also adhere to the rule that a juvenileâs record can be sealed when they turn eighteen. However, not all states recognize this rule and having a record sealed means that the record still exists and is accessible by certain parties.
Again, while this might not mean that the record was fully cleared, having a juvenile record sealed is another way to limit its availability. Also, in the states that follow the rule, a person is likely to feel more certain that their record was sealed because it is the law in those areas.
Lastly, felonies and misdemeanors will usually remain on a criminal record until a person requests a removal from the court and the court grants it. However, some information might be harder to access over time, such as arrests from longer than 7 years ago and non-conviction charges.
There are also a handful of states that limit criminal record data if it is older than 7 years and does not involve any felony convictions.
The Record Suspension Option
Your police record is accessible to anyone it is a matter of public record. If a potential employer or even an organization you wish to volunteer with has a background check policy, they only need to be willing to pay a fee and use your ID details to run that check. Only the police record information will be available for them to view, nothing else. If it is a law enforcement organization, such as a police department in Canada, or even the CBP at the American border or an international airport, these groups have automatic access to this information if they decide to run a check on your identification.
If, however, you apply for and get a record suspension, your police record is sealed against this type of background check. Record suspensions used to be known as pardons, but the terminology changed to more properly reflect the actual administrative activity that was being carried out. Under ordinary circumstances, once your police record has been sealed by a record suspension, no one will see anything if they conduct a standard background check.
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How To Get A Local Police Records Check
Fill in all questions on page 1 of the Local Police Records Check Form.
Tip: Photocopy it for each local police service you contact.
Contact the local police service for the address where you live now. If you have lived in different places during the last 5 years, you must contact the police service for each place. If you are not sure who to contact, ask your local police service.
If you lived outside of Canada you still need to contact the local police service where you lived. If the police service outside Canada will not give you a local police records check, a signed letter from the police service stating that you have been law-abiding will be accepted. If it is in a foreign language, you must have it translated into English or French and submit both the original and the translated version with your application form.
Show your criminal record to each local police service and ask them to fill in the section on the Local Police Records Check Form called For Police Use Only on page 2 of the form.
You will need to show them a current photo ID and a second piece of ID.
Tip: Contact the local police service in advance to find out the types of ID they accept.
Are You Eligible To Clear A Criminal Record
Here is what you should learn before knowing how to clear criminal record in the UK. The table below will tell you whether to apply for the record deletion process.
- You have been issued a Penalty Notice for Disorder
- Issued a Final Warning as a juvenile
- Arrested but not charged and/or convicted of a minor offence
- Issued a Caution or Conditional Caution
- Issued a Youth Caution
- Issued a Reprimand
- Arrested and charged with a qualifying offence* , but you were not subsequently convicted
- Arrested but not charged for a minor offence and given a Discontinuance
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Do Deferred Adjudication Dismissals Qualify For Expunction
You generally do not qualify for an expunction if your arrest resulted in a deferred adjudication dismissal unless you successfully completed deferred adjudication probation on a Class C Misdemeanor case. However, the 2021 Texas Legislature did create another exception for UCW cases. Other than UCW cases, dismissals obtained after a successful deferred adjudication probation for a Class A or B misdemeanor or felony are not eligible for an expunction. However, you may still be eligible for an order of nondisclosure. Orders of non-disclosure are similar to expunctions, but there are important limitations to orders of non-disclosure and differences between the two.
If I Received Probation Can I Get An Expunction
Any conviction will typically disqualify you from an expunction, including a straight probation sentence, except for DUI and other age-related alcohol offenses and, after the 87th Texas Legislature, any UCW convictions as the statute existed prior to September 1, 2021. You are also not eligible for an expunction if you received deferred adjudication for an offense, unless that offense was a Class C misdemeanor or for a UCW. However, if you have received probation and youre not otherwise eligible for an expunction, you may still be eligible for an order of nondisclosure. You may also qualify to apply for judicial clemency if you received a probation sentence after conviction. Learn more information about Judicial Clemency here
If you were convicted, pled guilty, or pled no contest, then your arrest may not be able to be expunged. You also may not be able to expunge your record if you jumped bail or violated the terms of probation or if it was part of a criminal episode.
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What Disclosures Are Included
- Criminal Records – Adult and Youth
- Pending and outstanding charges
- Outstanding warrants for arrest Canada-wide
- Police Files/Information Reports: Relevant occurrences this may include any interactions an individual has had with police as being disclosed, including mental health occurrences, if they are deemed to be relevant. A relevant occurrence may not have resulted in charges being laid, but will be disclosed if relevant or there is a potential risk to public safety
- Records of not criminally responsible by reasons of Mental Disorder pursuant to s.16 cc
- Judicial Orders while in effect: probations, prohibitions, peace bonds and recognizance conditions
- Vulnerable Sector Records
- Absolute Discharge for one year period
- Stay of Proceedings for one year period
- Conditional Discharge for three year period
- Alternative Measures for one year period
Did You Receive An Attend Letter
If you receive an “attend” letter after submitting your application, follow instructions.
Individuals are requested to “follow-up” and attend the Customer Service Unit for a variety of reasons. Follow-up requests may be related to:
- submission of fingerprints to confirm or eliminate a criminal record associated to an applicants information
- Failure to submit a self-declaration form if you have existing criminal conviction
- submission of fingerprints for the Vulnerable Sector search to confirm or eliminate a pardon associated to applicants information.
- A vulnerable sector check is conducted as part of a criminal record check. It is a search of records suspended sexual offences. The vulnerable sector check is national RCMP policy and requires applicants who have a combination of name and/or gender and/or date of birth as a pardoned/suspended sex offender to undergo fingerprinting to verify their identity. The vast majority of those fingerprinted will not have a pardoned/suspended sexual offence however fingerprinting remains a necessity as it eliminates the possibility of an offender changing their name to circumvent a criminal record. This is not an accusation of criminal activity or guilt fingerprints are used to confirm your identity only. Please see the RCMP website for more information.
NOTE: The above information cannot be discussed over the phone however the Police Information Check Unit will disclose this follow-up request when you attend.
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Can Convictions Be Removed From The Pnc
The Police National Computer currently retains all information until an individuals 100th birth date. The police are obliged, under Part V of the Police Act 1997, to provide the DBS with access to all convictions held on the PNC. There was previously a system known as step-down, but this was ended into October 2009.
You retain the right under the Data Protection Act 2018 to contact the police directly about information which is held on the PNC about you this is often referred to as Subject Access. You can make a request to have a record deleted from the PNC together with associated fingerprints and DNA through the Record Deletion Process which is outlined in guidance from the National Police Chiefs Council Deletion of Records from National Police Systems.
It is very rare for convictions to be removed under this procedure. The deletion of records from the National Police Systems is usually reserved for cases involving non-conviction information , or where it can be proved that the arrest was unlawful or where it is established beyond doubt that no offence existed.
The only other option would be to legally appeal against the conviction . This can normally only be done within a short time period following the conviction. To do this, you should seek legal advice. Also note that, if you pleaded guilty at court, that makes appealing your conviction even more difficult.
What Does Expunction And Expungement Mean
An expunction or expungement means that a court has ordered documents or other physical or digital items related to an arrest to be destroyed. The process to receive and expunction and the eligibility qualifications for it were created by the Texas state legislature and put into law at Chapter 55 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. Many people refer to expunctions as a way to seal their records, but this is the incorrect word to describe Expunctions because record sealing is used in the law to describe juvenile record sealing, which is entirely different from Expunctions.
It is important to note that records relating to your arrest are not automatically removed from any public or private database if your case is dismissed. An arrest will remain in the public record and show up in pre-employment background checks and online database searches until you have received an Order of Expunction and the company or government agency has been removed the record from its database. In order to obtain an order of expunction, you have to file a petition for expunction and have a judge a sign the order granting you the expunction.
After receiving an expunction, you are allowed by state law to deny that you had ever been arrested, even on employment applications.1
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Can I Dispute The Disclosable Outcomes On My National Police Check If I Have Spent Convictions
If your national police check is returned to you with disclosable outcomes but you believe your convictions have become spent, it is possible to dispute your results. However, please bear in mind that if your certificate shows your spent convictions, there will most likely be a reason why.
Remember that there are certain exceptions to spent convictions legislation. These state that if your spent convictions are relevant to the purpose of your NPC application, they may still be included on your certificate.
Say, for example, that an applicant needs an NPC certificate for employment in a school. If that applicant has prior convictions for offences against children, it is highly likely those convictions will be disclosed, regardless of how long it has been since the offence occurred.
What Criminal Offences Will Never Become Spent
In most States and Territories across Australia, sexual offences can never become spent, no matter how many years have passed since the date of conviction. As such, any sexual offences committed will always show up on an offenders NPC certificate. In some instances, this is also the case when the offender was a minor at the time of conviction.
Additionally, convictions in Western Australia will not become spent automatically. Rather, those with convictions on their criminal record must apply for a spent conviction on the Western Australia government website.
Keep this in mind if you are applying for police checks in West Australia. If you fail to apply for a spent conviction in time, it may still be listed on your national police check.
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Appealing A Decision If The Police Refuse To Delete A Caution
There is no formal appeals process to challenge a decision made in relation to the deletion of police cautions.
If you dont agree with the decision you should, in the first instance, make representation to the relevant police force. This should usually be done no later than 3 months from the date you received the original decision. Your representation will need to provide information or evidence which was not provided in your previous application.
If you believe that the police are holding information that is inaccurate, incomplete or has been retained for longer than is necessary and your request to have it deleted has been refused, then you could consider making a complaint to the Information Commissioners Office.
If, having followed the process set out above, you remain dissatisfied, then you do have the right to challenge the decision by way of judicial review.