Spent Convictions.

Each State has a spent convictions scheme to render an offence older than 10 years of no effect. This can allow you to again travel overseas or start a job in a new industry as there is no requirement to disclose a spent conviction. Additionally it is an offence to discriminate against someone with a spent conviction.

A spent conviction is a conviction that no longer has any effect. Spent convictions do not appear on a police records check and do not have to be disclosed when questions are asked about a person’s criminal history. Where there has been a formal finding of guilt or a finding of an offence proved, but no conviction is recorded against the person, then the finding will be taken to be immediately spent.

The qualification period for an eligible juvenile offence (other than where a person was dealt with as an adult) is five consecutive years (3 years in Qld) from the relevant day for the conviction for the offence. In any other case the qualification period is ten consecutive years for an adult. (This can vary from State to State for sexual offences which in most instances an application can be made to the court).

All States have a spent convictions scheme, the convictions are simply spent from the time of the offence, South Australia for example has an alternate qualification period to qualify;

So in South Australia and some other states if a person commits another offence during the qualification period for their first offence, the time that has run towards the qualification period for the first offence is cancelled and the date of the second conviction becomes the new relevant day for the first conviction. However, if the second offence is a minor offence, that is, an offence where the defendant is discharged without penalty or receives a fine not exceeding $500, the second conviction will not become the new relevant day for the qualification period starting date. This means that if a person commits a minor offence during their qualification period, the qualification period will not re-start from the date of the second conviction.

For example: 24 year old Tony was convicted for a charge of carry an offensive weapon on 21 January 2010. He subsequently commits an offence of disorderly conduct and is convicted of this on 21 January 2016. The time that has run so far in his qualification period for the offensive weapon conviction (6 years) is cancelled and the new relevant day for calculating the qualification period for this offence becomes the date of conviction for the second offence, that is, 21 January 2016 (so it will be 10 years from that date, 21 January 2026). If, however, Tony had committed a minor offence during the qualification period, the period would not be cancelled and the 10 year period would end on 21 January 2020.



Check your State/Territory Act and forms below for details


Spent Convictions Act 2021 http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/num_act/sca202113o2021268/



Criminal Records act 1991 http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/cra1991167/



Criminal Law (Rehabilitation of Offences) Act 1986 http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/qld/consol_act/clooa1986356/


South Australia

Spent Convictions Act 2009 http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/sa/consol_act/sca2009222/


Western Australia

Spent Convictions Act 1998 http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/wa/consol_act/sca1988222/



Annulled Convictions Act 2003 http://classic.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/legis/tas/consol_act/aca2003228/index.html#s10


Australian Capital Territory

Spent Convictions Act 2000 http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/act/consol_act/sca2000222/index.html


Northern Territory

Criminal Records (Spent Convictions) Act 1992 http://classic.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nt/consol_act/crca1992368/index.html