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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 68299
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I was arrested back in 2005 (December) it was a minor

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Good afternoon Pearl, I was arrested back in 2005 (December) it was a minor incident so i was released the same day after a few hours and I didn't go to court for it, however i'm not sure if this is a spent or unspent conviction at this stage now that over 14 years are gone? i haven't had any other issue with the police or law...
JA: What were you charged with exactly? Do you have any upcoming court dates?
Customer: Shoplifting, i just paid a little fine (i think around £200 at the time) it's long time ago.
JA: Where did the shoplifting occur?
Customer: A local supermarket, M&S.
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Not really, i only want to know what i need to declare if i ever have a criminal check, or i want to go away on holiday overseas and i need to declare anything.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today. I may also need to ask some questions to determine the legal position.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Great, many thanks for your help. Pere

Did you receive any penalty at all at the time?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I paid a little fee, around £200 (it’s a long time ago but I can remember paying it)

Thank you. I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Many thanks for your patience. If a person receives a criminal conviction, it is initially treated as ‘unspent’, until a specified rehabilitation period has passed, after which it is considered ‘spent’. The fine would have been spent by now. Spent convictions do not have to be declared if an employer is asking if you have a criminal record, unless the employment is for an exempt position (you should be told in the application form if that is the case, but usually it involves jobs working with children or vulnerable adults or positions of trust).

In addition, an employer may require an employee to undertake a criminal records check known as a DBS check (the new name for the old CRB check). Whether a past caution or conviction will appear on it depends on what level of DBS checking is being undertaken. There are three levels:

· Basic - contains only unspent convictions (this won’t show up)

· Standard – contains spent and unspent convictions, as well as cautions, reprimands and final warnings (this will only show up if it is not filtered under the rules below)

· Enhanced – same as a Standard but also includes local police intelligence considered relevant to the application and entries on barred lists

There is also a filtering system in place which removes spent convictions subject to certain conditions. The current guidelines are:

A spent adult conviction will not be included on a DBS check if 11 years have elapsed since the date of conviction, it is the person’s only offence and it did not result in a custodial sentence.

It is important to note that Enhanced checks are not automatically subject to the filtering rules and the police force that issues the check can still include details of the offence, even if it would normally be filtered out, if they believe it is relevant to the application for which the check is being undertaken. As case law has confirmed that criminal records can remain on a person’s police record until their 100th birthday, it means that there is the potential for certain offences to appear for life on an Enhanced check if they are deemed relevant to the application for which the check is required.

As to travel abroad, that will depend entirely on the country you are travelling to and the rules associated with it so you need t check each time you have to declare anything and determine if it needs to be declared.

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Many thanks Ben, I was never given any kind of option for let’s say rehabilitation so I believe it should be as “spent” after so long, however I just wanted to know a bit more but I think you have answered very well. I’m filling-in my ESTA to go to NYC in summer and they are asking me if I’ve ever been arrested for a conviction which caused serious damage to property, people or government authority. Would that be my case at all? Thanks

You would have to declare it as the US does not follow the UK rules for spent convictions. See the advice they provide on the Embassy here:

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks very much Ben, very helpful.

All the best

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