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What is a spent conviction?

  • A spent conviction has limited disclosure requirements to third parties
  • It’s one thing to be convicted of an offence. It’s another to have to tell people about it.
  • At Stevenson Legal, we're experts in Perth when it comes to applications for spent convictions.

Spent Convictions Perth

If you are convicted of a criminal or traffic offence, that conviction will ordinarily appear on your National Police Clearance record unless you successfully apply for a spent conviction. A spent conviction is a conviction that has limited disclosure requirements to third parties. While there are some exceptions to this general rule (such as Working with Children Checks, the Court’s records, Police records and others) an individual who obtains a spent conviction order is generally not required to disclose the conviction to third parties.

Frequently, people will seek a spent conviction for drink-driving, drug possession, assault, theft and fraud charges to avoid adverse impacts in relation to travel or employment. However, spent conviction orders are not limited to just those offences.

If you are concerned about the adverse impact that telling people about your conviction will have on your travel plans, employment prospects, or in any other way, you should seeking advice on a spent conviction application without delay.

Timing is everything

It is important to realise that there is only a narrow window of opportunity for you to seek a spent conviction. If you do not obtain a spent conviction at the time that you are convicted, you will likely need to wait a further 10 years before being able to reapply (with the exception of some possession of cannabis offences, where the applicable period is 3 years after the date of conviction). For this reason it is important to speak with an experienced lawyer about your case before proceeding with a spent conviction application to ensure that it is well thought out, properly evidenced and cogently argued.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions concerning spent convictions.

If you need advice on how to apply for spent convictions, our team at Stevenson Legal can help. To book a consultation, contact us today by giving our friendly staff a call on (08) 9489 4898.

I’ve been charged with an offence. How do I obtain a spent conviction if I am convicted?

By making an application to the court, usually to a Magistrate. This is usually required to be done at the time that the conviction is recorded. If no application for a spent conviction is made at that time it may be very difficult, if not impossible, to create a second chance without waiting out the 10-year period.

Can the police oppose my application?

Yes, and they frequently will. The Magistrate will usually ask the police prosecutor whether they oppose or do not oppose your application. While the police position is not determinative either way, the Magistrate will usually take it into account when deciding on your application. Stevenson Legal lawyers will negotiate with police beforehand to see if we can reach a ‘no opposition’ agreement. If your application is still opposed we are experienced in anticipating the police objection, and meeting it with persuasive arguments.

If my application is refused can I try again later on?

Yes, but only if you successfully appeal the original decision, or if you wait out the applicable waiting period which is usually 10 years. It‘s best to get it right the first time round.

Does a spent conviction mean I don’t get punished?

No. A spent conviction won’t alter the fact that you have been convicted, or prevent the penalty whether it be a fine, a disqualification from driving, or imprisonment. The philosophy behind spent convictions is that while people need to be punished for committing offences, they don’t necessarily have to have their lives adversely impacted by telling third parties about the conviction for years to come.

Can I get a spent conviction for a drink driving charge?

Yes. Spent convictions can be granted for all offences whether criminal or traffic. Stevenson Legal have made literally hundreds of successful spent conviction applications for a wide variety of charges.


Nick represented me in a serious traffic offence matter. Outstanding legal argument from him managed to persuade the Magistrate for a spent conviction. I highly recommend Nick. You wont get much better than him.
Rick Karaitiana
I recently engaged Nicholas Stevenson of Stevenson Legal to represent me against a charge that carried a substantial fine and imprisonment. Nick successfully argued in court that the offence was at the lower end of the penalty range which resulted in saving me a great deal of money. He also was able to obtain a "Spent Conviction" for me. Nick was clearly at ease with the court environment and acted with great competency and professionalism. I highly recommend him.
Alun Dufty
Nick is highly professional, and knows his stuff. I was facing 2 charges, Drink Driving above 0.08, and Careless Driving. With Nick's legal services I managed to get minimum sentencing and a Spent Conviction on both charges. Safe to say Nick's services have saved me from so much pain and trouble in the future.

Process of Applying For Spent Convictions

As part of our spent convictions service, we are able to make an application for a spent conviction and conduct the necessary preparation for that application. We will gather evidence to support the application, negotiate with the prosecution as necessary, and attend court in order to make oral submissions. At times, written submissions and evidence are to be provided to the court and to the prosecution ahead of the oral submissions.

Our initial consultation fee in order to discuss your matter with one of our many criminal lawyers in Perth is $250 plus GST ($275 including GST). We will provide an estimate of fees together with a letter of advice once that initial consultation has concluded noting that the estimate of fees does depend upon a large number of factors including but not limited to demonstrating that the offence is either trivial, or that you are a person of prior good character, and that the offence is unlikely to be repeated, and that there are exceptional reasons that would justify relieving you of the adverse impact of disclosing the offence.

Proper preparation of spent conviction applications, knowledge of the law, rules of evidence and court processes is highly recommended, as refusal of a spent conviction application will render you unable to reapply for years afterwards.