The recently enacted Spent Conviction Act 2021 (Vic) is a major development in the criminal law space. This Act came into effect on 1 July 2022, and introduces a spent conviction scheme allowing people to have their conviction for certain criminal offences removed from police checks. The spent conviction scheme allows for some offences to be removed automatically, however, there are some instances where an application is needed. This scheme will give people a chance to wipe the slate clean by removing their conviction.
This article will outline how you can apply to have your conviction removed.
When an Application Must be Made
You must apply to a Magistrate for your conviction to be removed if:
1. You were a child or young person when you received your conviction under the Children’s Court Act 1973, the Penalties and Sentences Act 1985, the Children and Young Person Act 1991, the Sentencing Act 1991 or the Children, Youth and Families Act 2005; or
2. Your conviction is for a serious violence or sexual offence; or
3. You received a term of imprisonment not exceeding 5 years.
How an Application is Made
You can apply to have your conviction removed by completing an application form with the Magistrates’ Court. The application form must:
1. write your full name,
2. the conviction which you are applying to have removed,
3. material demonstrating your rehabilitation,
4. other information prescribed by the court.
You must serve your application on the Attorney-General’s office and the Chief Commissioner of Police. The Attorney-General and Chief Commissioner of Police have 28 days to notify the Magistrates’ Court if they will oppose your application.
The Magistrates’ Court will notify the parties if the application will be determined in a hearing or on the papers through written submissions.
Your aim is to demonstrate to the Magistrate hearing your application that you have reformed. You can bolster your submission by providing the Magistrate with the following material:
- Character references from your family and your employer.
- Letter from a counsellor or a psychologist demonstrating that you underwent offence specific treatment.
- Evidence that you are no longer using illicit drugs or alcohol if this is relevant to your offending.
- Showing involvement within your local community such as volunteering or playing sport.
- Detailed written submissions ideally prepared by an experienced solicitor.
Get in Touch
You should get in touch with us on 9317 9712 if you have a criminal conviction preventing you from seizing opportunities. Our lawyers understand that people have convictions for many different reasons and everyone is entitled to a second chance. We can assist you in applying to have your conviction removed.