The following Corporate Crime guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (ROA 1974) convictions may become spent after a specified period of time. The period of time will vary depending on the disposal administered or sentence passed. If a conviction or caution has become spent, for most purposes the offender is treated as having never committed an offence. This means people with spent convictions or cautions have the right under ROA 1974 not to declare them when applying, for example, for most jobs or insurance.
ROA 1974 only operates in the UK, although the provisions apply to convictions abroad for offences that would be offences in the UK.
There are differences in the way in which ROA 1974 operates in Scotland. For information see the Scottish Government's guidance.
ROA 1974 expressly states that its provisions do not apply to criminal proceedings. This means that spent convictions are potentially admissible as evidence, subject to satisfying one or more of the gateways of admissibility contained in the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (CJA 2003).
See Admissibility of defendant's bad character in criminal proceedings.
Despite the restrictions on the ambit of ROA 1974 in criminal proceedings, the Consolidated Criminal Practice Direction states that no one should refer in open court to a spent conviction without the authority of the judge, which should only be given if it
**Trials are provided to all LexisPSL and LexisLibrary content, excluding Practice Compliance, Practice Management and Risk and Compliance, subscription packages are tailored to your specific needs. To discuss trialling these LexisPSL services please email customer service via our online form. Free trials are only available to individuals based in the UK. We may terminate this trial at any time or decide not to give a trial, for any reason. Trial includes one question to LexisAsk during the length of the trial.
To view the latest version of this document and thousands of others like it, sign-in to LexisPSL or register for a free trial.
Existing user? Sign-in
Take a free trial
0330 161 1234
To view our latest legal guidance content,sign-in to Lexis®PSL or register for a free trial.