Applying for a new job, or thinking about going overseas or applying for a visa? These are just some of the things that will require you to have a clean criminal record. But what exactly can and can’t you do with a criminal record? Here’s everything you need to know:
What offences go on a Criminal Record
Applying for a new job, or thinking about going overseas or applying for a visa? These are just some of the things that will require you to have a clean criminal record. But what exactly can and can’t you do with a criminal record? The answer is more complex than simple do’s and don’ts. That’s why we’ve compiled everything you need to know about navigating life with a record – what you can and can’t do and when you’ll need to disclose this very personal information.
What is a criminal record?
While we’ve all either knowingly or unknowingly committed a crime at least once in our lives, our criminal record is based entirely on what we have been accused of and found guilty of in court. This could range from:
- serious traffic offences
- refusal to pay fines
- violence and misconduct charges
There are also a number of minor changes that will not end up on your record like a parking fine or speeding ticket. If you are found to be guilty of a crime, the state will hold a criminal record against your name.
How long does a criminal record last?
Generally, a criminal record lasts for ten years from the time when you were convicted. For the most part, after ten years have passed, these convictions will end up as ‘spent convictions’ and be removed from your record.
Can a criminal record be cleared in Australia?
For adults, the ten years must be completed without a further charge before the record is clean, for juveniles, this time period is reduced to three consecutive years. However, for more serious charges like murder and aggravated rape, these charges will always remain on a record, and cannot be removed. If a prison sentence is served up for longer than 6 months – it may also be impossible for the record to be removed.
Can you travel overseas with a criminal record?
The answer is: it depends where you want to go. Every country has its own system for recognizing and dealing with supplying visas to travelers with a criminal record. Generally, it is a lot more difficult to travel overseas, and countries do restrict entry based on criminal records. For example, the United States requires those with a criminal record to apply for a visa and go in for an interview and access is only granted on a case-by-case basis. While some countries can offer a waiver in certain circumstances, it is common for countries to refuse entry, or at the very least ask for details on the conditions and punishments served.
What happens if I don’t inform of a criminal record
Different countries often share information about passengers travelling between them, and countries have, over the years, developed capabilities that can easily recognize and inform foreign airport authorities of a known criminal record. Don’t put your freedom on the line, not disclosing this information can lead to severe repercussions.
Jobs that require a criminal record check in Australia
Applying for new jobs is one of the most common ways people come up against their own record. The truth is, a criminal record can exclude you from a whole host of well-paying jobs and overseas posts where a work-visa is part of the application process. Here is a non-exhaustive list of jobs that require a clean record:
- Financial jobs
- Teaching jobs – all fields of education
- Transportation and delivery jobs
- Human resource jobs
- Elected positions
- Senior management positions
What are my rights if I have a criminal record?
The good news is, if you have a record, there are certain rights afforded to you as a citizen – namely that you cannot be refused a job because of a criminal record – where the record has nothing to do with the job. For example, not hiring someone in a construction role because of a drink driving offence is illegal.
When do I have to disclose my criminal record?
Basically, whenever it’s called upon for you to do so. Whether it’s at a job application, interview, or in an official capacity – it’s always required for you to disclose your record- even if it is clean.
How can I check my criminal record in Western Australia?
Getting your criminal record checked is simple and can be done online within a matter of hours with a WA Police Check. More formal police checks required for embassies overseas when applying for visas may require a more formal application process which can be done through the AFP website.
If you want to avoid a criminal record, but are facing charges – give yourself the best chance at avoiding a criminal record – contact a criminal lawyer Perth, and get qualified legal assistance today.