What happens to your criminal record when your case ends?

July 24, 2020, By

Once your case is complete, the police must keep a record of it. Whether you were convicted, cautioned, arrested or even accused, this will still need to be kept on record. Additionally, any community service of Youth Offending referrals will be noted on your criminal record.

How long does a criminal record last?

If you were either convicted or cautioned, this will be kept on record until your 100th birthday. Although they are not deleted from the system until this point, you may not always have to disclose something on that record, but it all comes down to the severity of the offence and the conviction.

Will my case show up in a criminal record check?

In many types of employment or voluntary work where you will be working with vulnerable people, financial professions, education, healthcare and more. These checks will look at criminal history, and depending on the type of work you are going in to, there are different levels of criminal record checks.

If you were convicted, you will have a rehabilitation period. During this period, when a criminal record check, or DBS check, is undertaken, you must disclose anything that is on your criminal record, no matter the severity.

How long is the rehabilitation period?

Rehabilitation period length will depend on the type of sentence you were given.

For example, a fine will show up for one year, community orders or youth rehabilitation will show up for the length of the order, plus 6 months.

For cases of detention, the time on the record will depend on the time detained plus an additional time period. For detention of more than four years, the ‘rehabilitation period’ is permanent, and it will always be disclosed in criminal record checks.

When the rehabilitation period is complete

After the specified time has passed for the type of sentence, this will not need to be disclosed. These will be classed as “spent” and employers cannot refuse to hire you, or fire you, because of a spent record.

There is, however, an exception to this rule in circumstances where you could be working with vulnerable adults or children. If you are unsure whether you will need to disclose a spent sentence, you can find out from Unlock, the charity supporting people with convictions. Everything is confidential.

Protected records for young offenders

If you were aged 17 or under when convicted for an offence, it will become protected after 5 and a half years from the date of conviction. Cautions are removed after 2 years.

In some instances, records can never be protected if you served a sentence, have more than one conviction, or if it is on the list of offences which will never become protected. This includes violent and sexual offences, and the full list can be found here.

Our legal expertise

If you have been accused or are facing prosecution for any kind of crime, you will need the best representation you can get. Our criminal law team are available around the clock to give you peace of mind and the most effective service possible.

For legal representation, whether it is in the police station, court or elsewhere, speak to us. Call us on 0161 969 3131 or fill in our contact form and we will be in touch.