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19 April 2014

What is a spent conviction?

Question

What is a spent conviction?

Answer

A spent conviction is a conviction which is no longer taken into account for legal purposes after a period of time has elapsed in much the same way that penalty points on a driving licence are no longer taken into account under the "totting up" procedure after three years. Spent convictions will generally be disregarded but may be taken into account for the purposes of considering the grant of a licence in exceptional circumstances as this is an administrative exercise.

The rehabilitation period (that is the time that elapses before a conviction becomes spent) is determined as follows: -

A sentence of imprisonment, detention in a young offenders institution or youth custody or corrective training for a term exceeding six months but not exceeding thirty months has a rehabilitation period of ten years.

A sentence of imprisonment, detention in a young offenders institution or youth custody or corrective training for a term not exceeding six months has a rehabilitation period of seven years.

A fine or any other sentence not being a sentence to which an order discharging a person absolutely, a conditional charge, binding over to keep the peace, probation, or an order imposing any disqualification, disability, prohibition or other penalty relates has a rehabilitation period of five years.

An order discharging a person absolutely will have a rehabilitation period of six months from the date of conviction.

Conditional discharge, binding over to keep the peace has a rehabilitation period of one year from the date of conviction or a period beginning with that date and ending when the order for conditional discharge or the recognisance or be of good behaviour ceases or ceased to have effect, whichever is the longer.

Probation has a rehabilitation period, in the case of a person aged eighteen years or over at the date of his conviction, of five years from the date of conviction.

An order imposing any disqualification, disability, prohibition or other penalty has a rehabilitation period from the date of conviction and ending on the date on which the disqualification, disability, prohibition or penalty ceases or ceased to have effect.

In general, where more than one sentence is imposed in respect of a conviction and the rehabilitation periods applicable would differ, then the rehabilitation period applicable shall be longer or longest of those periods.

Please contact the Licensing Team on (01276) 707327 or email licensing@surreyheath.gov.uk should you require advice.

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