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  • A spent conviction has limited disclosure requirements to third parties - essentially meaning you don’t have to let other organisations know about it.
  • 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.


If you are convicted of a criminal or traffic offence in WA, the conviction recorded 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. With some exceptions (such as working with children checks), obtaining a spent conviction will ensure you are not required to disclose details of the conviction in any of the aforementioned circumstances.

Frequently, people will apply for a spent conviction for drink-driving, drug possession, drug driving, assault, theft and fraud charges to avoid adverse impacts in relation to travel or employment.


Having a criminal conviction can create barriers to finding employment, housing, and educational opportunities due to background checks and societal stigma. It can also restrict international travel and lead to financial burdens, impacting various aspects of a person’s life.

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 seek advice on a spent conviction application without delay. Obtaining a spent conviction will ensure you are not required to disclose details of the criminal conviction in any of the aforementioned circumstances.

Stevenson Legal can assist you when you apply for a spent conviction in Perth, WA. With extensive knowledge and experience, we’ll ensure the process is as hassle-free as possible to achieve ideal outcomes. Call us today on (08) 9489 4898 or submit an online enquiry to discuss your application for a spent conviction.


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.


Below are some frequently asked questions concerning spent convictions and applying for spent convictions in WA. If you have any further questions, feel free to get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to help.

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

You can obtain a spent conviction by making an application to the court, usually to a Magistrate. This is usually required to be done at the time that the criminal 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 for a spent conviction?

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 spent conviction application. Stevenson Legal lawyers will negotiate with police beforehand to see if we can reach a ‘no opposition’ agreement. If your spent conviction 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 around.

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 conviction for a drunk driving charge?

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

Do spent convictions show on a police check?

In most cases no, National Police Clearances do not list spent convictions and a person with a spent conviction. So if you have a spent conviction and are applying for a job and you are asked for a police clearance certificate, the spent conviction will not appear under criminal history.

It is important to consider that there are certain instances in which spent convictions will be disclosed. The situations may include people seeking employment within government departments, aged care or sectors that involve working with children.

If a National Police Clearance is not required, but you are still asked about any criminal history, you don’t need to disclose information about a spent conviction.

Do I need to disclose a spent conviction?

In Western Australia, spent convictions are disclosed in certain circumstances and may vary depending on individual circumstances. Here are some general guidelines to consider:

Certain types of employment: Spent convictions may be disclosed for certain types of employment, particularly those involving working with vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly, or individuals with disabilities. Examples include roles in childcare, aged care, healthcare, and law enforcement.

Working with children: Individuals seeking employment or volunteering roles that involve working with children may be required to disclose spent convictions as part of the Working with Children Check process. This applies to roles such as teachers, childcare workers, youth workers, and coaches.

Legal proceedings: Spent convictions may be disclosed in certain legal proceedings, such as criminal trials or civil litigation, where the individual’s criminal history is relevant to the case.

Professional licensing: Some professional licensing bodies may require applicants to disclose spent convictions as part of the licensing process. Examples include law, medicine, and finance.

National security clearance: Individuals applying for certain government or security-related positions may be required to disclose spent convictions as part of the security clearance process.

Further examples can be found in the Spent Convictions Act 1998 (WA).

Does a criminal record in Western Australia last forever?

A conviction will always remain on your criminal record however, once it becomes spent, it will not be disclosed unless under the certain circumstances mentioned above.


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.


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 Western Australian spent conviction lawyer, like Stevenson Legal, about your case before proceeding with a spent conviction application to ensure that it is well thought out, properly evidenced and cogently argued.


In Western Australia, legislation surrounding spent convictions involves the Spent Convictions Act 1988. For minor offences, such as those resulting in less than 12 months of imprisonment or a fine of less than $15,000, the conviction is considered spent after 10 years from the date of conviction, including any term of imprisonment served. However, serious offences require an application to the Magistrate Court for the conviction to be spent.

During the sentencing procedure, a court may also issue a spent conviction order, particularly for less severe offences. Importantly, individuals must apply to the WA Police for the conviction to be considered spent; it does not occur automatically. This is why it is important to apply at the time of which you are convicted with a lawyer who specialises in spent conviction applications.



Whilst not all employers will require nor ask about criminal history, there are certain jobs that do typically require a clear National Police Clearance. If you are employed or want to seek employment in the following jobs, you should consider applying for a spent conviction as soon as possible:

Government positions: Many government roles, including those in law enforcement, child protection, healthcare, and education, often require a National Police Clearance.

Security and emergency services: Jobs in security, emergency services, and related fields often require background checks, including a National Police Clearance.

Aged care and healthcare: Roles involving care for vulnerable individuals, such as aged care workers, nurses, and doctors, may require a National Police Clearance to ensure the safety of those under their care.

Childcare and education: Jobs that involve working with children, such as teachers, childcare workers and youth workers, typically require a national police clearance to ensure the safety of children. While spent convictions will always still show on a Working With Children Check, so too will the fact that the conviction was ordered as spent. That information in itself can provide inherent detail and information such as that the court that ordered the spent conviction took the view that the offence was either trivial, or that the person was a person of prior good character, and in any event that the offence was unlikely to be repeated, and that there were circumstances justifying relieving the person of the adverse impact of not getting a spent conviction. Accordingly, there can be a benefit to seeking a spent conviction even if the spent conviction itself will be disclosed on a working with children check.

Finance and banking: Some positions in finance and banking, especially those involving handling sensitive financial information or working with vulnerable clients, may require a National Police Clearance.

Volunteer roles: Many volunteer organisations, including charities, community groups, and sporting clubs, require volunteers to undergo a National Police Clearance to ensure the safety of participants and the community.


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