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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50164
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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Ben, I received a conditional discharge in 1992 or 1993 minor accidental infr

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Hi Ben,
I received a conditional discharge in 1992 or 1993 for a minor accidental infraction. I had to pay damages.
I now need to apply an ACRO Police Certificate to get residency a foreign country.
Will this be a basic, standard or enhanced check and will this conviction appear?
Are you able to advise?
Hello, my name is***** am a solicitor on this site and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
An ACRO police certificate is not a basic, standard or enhanced check – it is its own type of check. When it is issued the ACRO Criminal Records Office used to apply the step down model under the ACPO Retention Guidelines for Nominal Records on the Police National Computer. However, the step down model was suspended in 2009 after a court case and convictions are no longer stepped down. So this may still show on your certificate.
What could also happen is that a result showing ‘No Live Trace’ appears, which means that there is criminal record information held on the Police National Computer but it has been ‘stepped down’. Guidance from Unlock, an organisation advising on such matters states:
“Anyone who sees this and understands this phrase can assume that you have a criminal record from the past, even if they can’t see the details. If this applies to you, we advise that you contact ACRO to obtain details of the conviction information that was not disclosed on your Certificate. If you have requested a Police Certificate for travel purposes, many Embassies will require this detail in order to make a decision on whether or not they should issue you with a visa. Once you receive the undisclosed information from ACRO you will be required to contact the relevant Embassy and disclose your previous conviction/s.”
I trust this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page). If for any reason you are unhappy with my response or if you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Bi Ben,

Thanks for your response.

I'd visited Unlock and other sites and was still unclear, that's why I wrote you hoping for a 'human' answer.

So an unconditional discharge from over 20 years ago will STILL affect me today? Is there any way to address that issue seeing as it's my ONLY problem with the law and that it was more or less an accident?

I was told to go with the conditional discharge and that it will not appear on my record after one year.

If there's any way to remove this from my record I'd be interested to do so.


Hello, yes this may indeed still show up and affect you, even if it happened all these years ago. What you have to remember is that you may have been told it won't appear in normal criminal record checks, but the ACPO certificates are different and do not follow the same rules. There is a procedure for deleting records from the police database but this is not straightforward and usually it would only be done in exceptional circumstances. This document explains the process and circumstances of when it may happen in more detail but I do not see how it would directly allow you to rely on it I'm afraid. Also do not assume that just because this may show up it will affect your chances of getting a residency in a foreign country - this was an old conviction, not something that serious and your record is clean otherwise - these are all positives that should be taken into account If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you
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