Want to Keep a ‘clean’ Criminal Record? The Difference Between Defending a Charge and a Spent Conviction

There are many reasons why someone would want to keep a ‘clean’ criminal record. A criminal record can have an affect on your career, visas for overseas travel, your Australian residency visa or future Australian citizenship applications.

When you are charged with a criminal offence, there are different ways you can handle it. However, if you are convicted of the offence, you are deemed to be guilty of the criminal offence you are charged with. This will be reflected in your criminal record.

If you can’t afford to have a criminal record, your options are:

If you believe that you are not guilty of the offence, you can choose to defend the charge and proceed to a trial. If you are found ‘not guilty’ at the end of the trial, the charge will be dismissed and the charge will not appear on your criminal record.

If you believe that you are guilty of the offence, you can choose to enter a plea of guilty to the charge. After you have entered a plea, you can apply for a Spent Conviction order. If the Spent Conviction Order is made, the conviction will still form part of your criminal record. However, it will not show up as an offence when you apply for a National Police Clearance.

Our team of lawyers is highly experienced in criminal matters. Previously our Ms. Jess Tey made an application for a spent conviction on behalf of a client after they entered a plea of guilty to an assault. They could not afford to have a criminal record because it would affect their current employment as a FIFO worker. Spent conviction orders are not readily granted unless you have a good reason. Ms. Tey gave careful consideration of the charge, prepared submissions, and obtained personal character references from the client. The presiding Magistrate was persuaded to make a spent conviction order after considering Ms. Tey’s submissions.

At Kean Legal Barristers & Solicitors, we tailor our legal advice to take into account your individual circumstances and to help you choose which option is best for you.

We strongly recommend that you obtain legal advice before considering whether you want to defend a criminal charge or entering a plea of guilty and applying for a spent conviction. Please call us now on (08) 6323 8613 for FREE general advice over the phone or click here to fill out an online enquiry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *