Criminal Law

Spent Convictions W.A.

Having a conviction recorded against your name can create great difficulties in a person’s life. Many employers today require prospective employees to provide a police clearance (both federal and state) as part of the application process for a job.

A police clearance showing prior convictions (even lesser convictions) can have a detrimental and prejudicial affect because the conviction, in many cases, is likely to jeopardize a person's chances of attaining employment.

Which Jobs Require A National Police Check?

Certain types of employment or occupational licensing require a National Police Certificate or National Police History Check including:

    • Police officers, prison or transport officers.
    • Employees of schools, hospitals and child care centres.
    • Casino employees
    • Licensed builders, plumbers, electricians and other trades as part of the licensing process. (See a full list of police checks for occupational licensing purposes in Western Australia)
    • Volunteers.

For a full list of jobs requiring a police check which may show prior convictions. Spent convictions also need to be considered when you're planning to work with children and require a Working With Children Check.

Convictions can also affect the ability of a person to travel to certain destinations. The U.S and Canada for example are notoriously strict on allowing individuals who have a criminal record entry into their country.

Why Apply To Have Your Conviction Spent?

If your conviction is spent then generally you are not legally obliged to disclose to anyone the previous conviction or any information relating to it. The issue of a person’s criminal record and the disclosure of it is only relevant to convictions which are current and have not been spent.

The law in Western Australia allows for an individual to apply to the Commissioner of police to have a conviction spent which follows a ten year offence free period. However for serious convictions that were recorded in respect of an offence dealt with in the District Court or Supreme Court any application to have the conviction spent must be made to the court itself.

The law in Western Australia also provides a regime where an application can be made to the court for a conviction to be spent immediately after sentencing. Under these circumstances the offence is not recorded as a conviction. Under the Sentencing Act WA, a court sentencing an offender is not to make a spent conviction order unless –

(a) It considers that the offender is unlikely to commit such an offence again and having regard to –

(i) the fact that the offence is trivial or

(ii) the previous good character of the offender…the court considers the offender should be relieved immediately of the adverse effect that the conviction might have on the offender.

Generally these applications are made in respect of lesser convictions dealt with in the Magistrates Court. Most convictions that are disposed of in the Magistrates Court have the potential to be ordered spent by the court. However there are some instances where the applicant is precluded from having their conviction declared spent. These types of more serious convictions might include:

  • convictions for which imprisonment (to be suspended or served immediately) was ordered,
  • convictions for which an Intensive Supervision Order was imposed,
  • convictions imposed against corporate entities,
  • convictions for offences which are considered too serious (such as life imprisonment).

There is a full list of convictions/instances which exempt and individual from applying for a spent conviction. These can be found in the section "Schedule 3: Exceptions to Part 3" in the Spent Convictions Act 1988.

If you have been charged with an offence it is important to seek competent legal advice and representation from a criminal lawyer to guide you through the court process, negotiate with the law enforcement authorities and achieve the best possible outcome.

My office has a vast experience making spent conviction applications to the court having handled countless similar type matters. If you are in need of advice and representation in making an application for a spent conviction to the court call my office without delay. We will assist you to arrange and present to the court all the relevant documentation necessary to assist in the application process.

Andrew Williams is also a member of the panel of practitioners for Legal Aid WA and frequently provides criminal law advice and representation to applicants on a grant of legal aid.

Although there are some limited exceptions, in general terms, you are not obliged to disclose a conviction which has been ordered to be spent. Generally the issue of a person’s criminal record and the disclosure of it is only relevant to convictions which are current and have not been spent.

You can apply for a conviction to be spent at the time you are being sentenced, or apply to have an old conviction spent after enough time has passed.

In WA you can apply to the commissioner of police or (depending on the seriousness of the charge) to the District Court to have a conviction spent after a waiting period of 10 years, plus any length of the term of imprisonment that was imposed for the offence.

You must not have committed any further offences in that 10 year time period.

Under the Crimes Act 1914 a Commonwealth (Federal) conviction can be spent if the following conditions are met:

  • You didn't go to jail or were only jailed for less than 31 months.
  • It has been 10 years since the date of the conviction for an adult or 5 years for a juvenile offender.
  • The individual has not re-offended during the 10 or 5 years.
  • No other statutory or prescribed exclusion applies.

Yes, a criminal record can be cleared once the "crime-free" period for a criminal offence is complete.

Once done, the conviction will be considered 'spent' and it will no longer appear on a person's criminal record.

It's important to note that there are some excpetions to this rule when it comes to some specific criminal offences.

Since 2006, the police retain all details of recordable offences until a person reaches 100 years of age.

This means your criminal convictions will always show on your police record, but a 'spent' conviction may not show on your state or national police check that is used for employment / vetting purposes.

Contact our lawyers now

At Andrew Williams Criminal Law we're here to help you with the best legal advice.

Testimonials Hear from our valued Clients

Words cannot express my gratitude for Andrew agreeing to take my case on, commit to returning from annual leave early, and the personal support and legal expertise provided in defending the driving charges made against me.

The delays I experienced by the two adjournments, while prolonging my anxiety and reducing my faith that I would receive a favourable outcome, worked very much in my favour but moreover it was the multiple submissions and arguments that Andrew made at law on my behalf that cemented the somewhat miraculous outcome including two spent convictions.

Though I genuinely never for a second doubted Andrew's skills, experience and abilities, my fate felt somewhat pre-determined given the significant impact sustained by the complainant.

Andrew was kind, non judgmental, clearly experienced and committed and he accommodated my anxieties and emotion surrounding the charges laid against me.

Andrew went out of his way to give me the best chance possible for a favourable outcome that, in the end, the Magistrate considered and responded accordingly.

All in all, I could not have dreamt of a better outcome considering the circumstances and I...

Rel M
Rel M

I had Andrew deal with my case recently and couldn't of been happier with the result he got for me. From the start Andrew was quick to reply to any questions and queries I had regarding my matter. He was very professional in my opinion, very easy to talk to and explained things quite well. I felt very comfortable in the courtroom knowing that Andrew wanted to get the best result he could for me, and I would highly recommend Andrew Williams to anyone who needs a criminal lawyer.


Colin W

I was on a very tight rope where, if it balanced the wrong way, it would have totally devastated my life. Andrew was honest through the entire process preparing me for the worst but never let me give up and thankfully with his help got a great outcome that let me move forward with my family. I cant praise Andrew enough and recommend him 100%.


Jason M

I cannot thank Andrew enough for his support and would not hesitate recommending your service to anyone who would need your help. I am eternally grateful to Andrew Williams who kept me informed as and when he had to and had no doubt in his professionalism. Thank you.


Pamela J
Pamela J

Had Andrew defend a reckless driving charge. He gave good solid advice throughout the process and defended me well at the trial. His costs were affordable and he was a great guy in general. The most important thing is we were able to have the charges dismissed via a not guilty verdict. I would recommend him to anyone.


Joly M
Joly M

Andrew represented me recently in a few difficult situations. I found him to be very professional, easily contactable and generally wanting a good outcome for me. I've passed his contact info to friends and if I ever need legal representation again I'll definitely be using his services.


Ryan B
Ryan B

After making several calls to various law firms, I came across Andrew Williams who was quick to respond providing knowledgeable, honest and friendly legal advice. At all times I felt confident in Andrew's ability to defend the charges. The case went to trial with an outcome of not guilty. I was awarded full legal costs. Could not be happier.


Matt K
Matt K

Andrew was fantastic to deal with. His courtroom demeanor and skills were apparent. He was always able to assist with a complex matter across nearly 3 years in rural WA. Would highly recommend his services.


Wesley H
Wesley H

Of my limited experiences in the judicial system, I can’t rate Andrew Williams highly enough. He was fantastic on my day in court and was very straight up during my consultations. He is such an awesome person, and the best professional criminal lawyer I have ever encounter. Need help call Andrew.


Aaron J

Andrew was brilliant with my case and achieved the best outcome. He was very professional and was very impressive in the submissions he presented to the magistrate. Again, I can't thank you enough Andrew.


Danni H

Andrew was very preffesional and welcoming when dealing with my case.

In the court room I felt at ease knowing andrew was representing me.

I would highly reccomend andrew for everyone no matter how big or small the case is!



Thanks a lot for handling my case and getting the pleasant outcome. Since the first time I talked to you I have known that my case was in a capable hands. I am impressed by your knowledge and confidence which gave me confidence. Cheers.


Joe Y

Thank you so much Andrew for grooming me and going over the process over and again. It was a traumatic time for me and you kept me focused. I really appreciate your guidance and we came out with the best result.

I wouldn't of been able to hold up as I did if not for your valued support.

Sincerely, Kyley.


Kyley S

Andrew was very approachable, knowledgeable, professional and focused on the best outcome. I would always recommend him.


Kieran C

My personal experience with Andrew Williams was a pleasant one from day one. In the midst of a police raid and the inability to find legal representation I considered myself done for when Andrew took the time to call me back after I contacted his office (during which time he was in trial). Upon soliciting some legal advice, Andrew was straight with me and I made an appointment with him in which he clearly explained the seriousness of my case. After some time, when the matter was moved to the District Courts I was well aware that I would likely be looking at some jail time; the nature of the legal systems and the way in which bureaucracy works is an extremely draining and mentally exhausting process. However, Andrew kept me well informed at every step of the way and promptly wrote to prosecution at critical points outlining my circumstances.

Moving forward, on the sentence hearing day, a pivotal point of my life occured when I was given no immediate imprisonement and was offered an opportunity before the Judge, being legally represented by Andrew. At no one point did I feel like I was being fooled or not taken care of, Andrew Williams was honest and professional, however harsh and difficult it was to accept my circumstances at times. In ...

Franciosco R

I was charged with the offence of aggravated common assault. I engaged Andrew Williams to act for me.

From the first time I met Andrew I knew that I was in the right hands. His level of professionalism both in and out of the court room was very impressive. Following a two day trial in the Perth Magistrates Court, I was found not guilty.

Andrew Williams assisted me through a very stressful period and I was extremely happy with the outcome. I would certainly recommend Andrew Williams to anybody that found themselves on the wrong side of the law.


Kyran H

My wife and I were so glad that we chose Andrew Williams to handle our sons Reckless Driving charge. What a relief to know we have people like him around to help.

Besides a failure to indicate and cutting the corner of a very sharp S bend in the road all other allegations by Police were not substantiated. After using a previous Law firm that basically told us that it was the 2 Police Officers word against our son and that we were probably better to take the charge of Dangerous Driving that had been offered by Police for a plea of guilty. $2500 later we decided to find someone else that at least believed our sons version of events.

Well, Andrew was that person; he understood exactly what was going on. He advised us of all avenues available to us and recommended the assistance of a very professional crash expert who provided quality photographs and measurements of the area involved.

Well if not for the professional and well thought out approach that Andrew used in this instance our son would have been unfairly charged with reckless driving for a very minor traffic offence. All costs were awarded to us by the Court and all I can say is...

George M

I have nothing but good things to say about Andrew and his law services. He helped me more than I could possibly ask for during a difficult time facing the court. He was very efficient and precise and always happy to help and answer questions even last minute and after hours.

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Trent W

I trusted that Andrew was the person to defend my case in our initial contact on the phone. He was very confident in his approach, from the first point of contact to the court room. I believe this must be from years of experience. Another added bonus for Andrew is that he is very honest and fair. He tells you like it is in the book of law and does not appear manipulative. His communication skills helped me help him to form a best defensive argument for my case. In other words, he made me comfortable to open up to him. In the end, he was able to convince the judge to let me off with only warning for providing misleading information to the police officer, which can be recorded as a criminal record against your name for 10 years.


Abraham A

Unhappy with my then representation, I went searching for a new criminal lawyer. Andrew responded quickly and professionally to my enquiry. It was quickly apparent during the first meeting that Andrew was knowledgeable, honest and was committed to getting us the best possible outcome. Andrew looked at all avenues available to me in a Magistrates Court matter. He negotiated on my behalf with the prosecution, attended 3 court hearings and defended my plea at a sentencing hearing. Andrew presented strong arguments in my defense and I was very pleased with a successful outcome. Andrew was also transparent and reasonable with his capped fee costing structure.


Timothy R

After being charged with Common Assault of a minor I made a sensible decision not to use the local Kununurra law firm. I engaged Andrew Williams to assist me with resolving this matter (to the point of me being awarded costs). Despite being 4000km away I never had any issues with Andrew's commitment to my case. He promptly returned all calls and demanded I do likewise when important information needed to be exchanged. I found him to be an intelligent, straight-talking and knowledgeable legal counsel. I have no hesitation in recommending this likeable and professional lawyer to those that require legal representation. Especially those that reside in regional or remote areas where there is no choice.


David C

Andrew Williams is a criminal laywer of much dedication I will never have the words of gratitude and admiration for his honesty and integrity I would highly recommend him to anyone who may require his services in the future


Helen M

I just wanted to take my time to explain my experience with Andrew Williams. I had an incident that could have really affected my future. As anyone does I called around all the lawyers in Perth and just not any lawyer but the ones who are highly respected amongst other lawyers and get the results. I have a friend who works in the industry and she recommended Andrew. She said she always sees Andrew in the paper with amazing outcomes to cases that he gets for his clients I first called his office and left a message with the receptionist. At the time he was on leave and it was his wife birthday. He promised her he wouldn't be bothered with work (this was at christmas time as well) he made the effort and called me to see if I was okay and how everything was. From that moment on I knew I had found my criminal lawyer. When you are going to court you want someone who is going to care about you and go the extra mile and not just pay you off. From the whole experience he was straight with me and very honest. My case was not an easy one and it could have been a very bad outcome. Andrew went out of his way to get me what I wanted. Throughout the whole process I felt like I was dealing with a friend. He was very professional and got the outcome I wanted. I really couldn't ...

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Very happy with my representation and fair fees by Andrew, I highly recommend him.


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I found dealing with Andrew Williams Law Firms to be quite pleasant and professional. I have nothing but utmost regard for this firm and would recommend anyone who needs a good criminal lawyer.


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If you want to get the best lawyer money can buy and get results? Look no further than Andrew Williams and get him in your corner. Not only is he a great guy I found his legal services very professional and knowledgeable and his attention to detail was faultless. This was a very tumultuous time in my life I was facing two criminal charges and my anxiety and stress levels were through the roof, but thanks to Andrew's cool calm and confident demeanor he was able to walk me through it and keep me focused every step of the way. I was acquitted in both cases thanks to Andrew. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you again Andrew you did a fantastic job. My advice to anyone facing Criminal charges would be to phone Andrew as soon as possible.


Dan G

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