How Long Does a Criminal Record Last in Victoria?

Having a criminal record can have a significant impact on many aspects of your life including your ability to seek employment and renting a home. However, just because you’ve been convicted of a crime before in the past, it doesn’t mean that it will necessarily be on your record forever. In this post, we take a closer look at some of the aspects of criminal law in the state of Victoria pertaining to the length of criminal records and spent convictions.

Does a Criminal Record Last Forever?

Depending on the nature of the crime, the length of time that it stays on your record can vary. Generally, less severe crimes may be automatically expunged from your record after a certain amount of time has passed or you may be able to apply to have them removed from your record. However, certain more serious crimes such as sexual offences may be ineligible for being expunged and may stay on your record indefinitely.

The Spent Convictions Act 2021

In 2021, the state of Victoria introduced the Spent Convictions Act, which is designed to mitigate the negative impacts that a criminal record can have on an individual’s life. Under this Act, certain offences can become spent, meaning that former offenders will not need to disclose them.

Whether you will need to make an application for the record to become spent will depend on the severity of the crime and whether you were above or under 21 years of age at the time the crime was committed. The specific requirements for a conviction to become spent can vary significantly depending on the crime. Thus, it is important for you to consult experienced criminal law solicitors who are familiar with Victoria law for professional legal advice on your personal circumstances.

Negative Impacts of a Criminal Record

Having a criminal record can have a negative impact on many aspects of your life. For example, some employers may choose not to offer you a job if you have a past conviction. A potential employer will often conduct a background check to see if you have a criminal record before making a hiring decision.

At the same time, you may also find it more difficult to travel overseas with a criminal record as some countries may have restrictions on travel for individuals with criminal record. It may also be an offence in these countries to make a false declaration regarding your criminal history.

Getting Professional Legal Advice

If you currently have a criminal record or have been charged with a crime, the best thing you can do for yourself is to engage an experienced criminal lawyer. They would be best suited to provide you with professional legal advice on the intricacies of your case and can help you achieve the best outcome possible in the circumstances.

If you’re looking for the top criminal lawyers in Melbourne, Leanne Warren & Associates can help. Our team of experts has decades of experience in the industry and can provide you with the best legal advice. Contact us today for a free consultation!