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Convictions FAQ

Convictions FAQ

  • Q: How long does it take for a conviction to expire?
  • A: For people aged 18 or over at the time of the conviction the 'rehabilitation period' (ie time it takes the conviction to expire) is as follows: Sentences over 4 years never expire. Sentences between 2.5 years and 4 years expire after 7 years. Sentences between 6 months and 2.5 years expire after 4 years. Sentences less than 6 months expire after 2 years.
  • Q: What does it mean for a conviction to become 'spent' or to 'expire'?
  • A: The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 means that some criminal convictions can expire (or become spent) after a 'rehabilitation' period. This rehabilitation period varies according to the type and length of sentence received and starts from the date of the conviction. After a conviction has become spent, it can be ignored from the perspective of job applications and insurance applications (although we would advise that even spent convictions are declared - see above).
  • Q: Do I have to declare spent convictions?
  • A: You must declare spent convictions. The insurers we work with ask about spent convictions, so not declaring them could invalidate your insurance - and make it harder to obtain insurance in the future. Insurance companies are not allowed by law to discriminate against people with spent convictions and declaring these will not effect your ability to get insurance or the premiums you have to pay.
  • Q: What convictions do I have to declare?
  • A: You must declare all convictions, even if they are spent. If you need to make a claim and the insurer discovers that you have upspent convictions that you did not declare, they will almost certainly refuse to pay out.