How Long Do Offences Stay On My Criminal Record?

The sentence you receive for any criminal offence will dictate how long the matters stay on your criminal record.  The table below sets out the time scales for each offence

Rehabilitation Table

REHABILITATION OF OFFENDERS
SENTENCEAGED 18+ AT CONVICTIONAGED 17 OR LESS AT CONVICTION
Imprisonment or Detention in YOI (over 30 months)Remains for lifeRemains for life
Imprisonment or Detention in YOI (6months-30months)10 Years5 Years
Imprisonment or Detention in YOI (up to 6 months)7 Years3.5 Years
Fine5 Years2.5 Years
Community Sentence5 Years2.5 Years
Conditional DischargePeriod of the order or 12 months whichever is the longerPeriod of the order or 12 months whichever is the longer
Absolute Discharge6 Months6 Months
Caution, Reprimand or Final WarningSpent immediatelySpent immediately
Bind OverPeriod of the order or 12 months whichever is the longerPeriod of the order or 12 months whichever is the longer
Attendance Centre Order12 Months after the order has finished12 Months after the order has finished
Hospital Order5 years or 2 years after the order expires (whichever is the longer)5 years or 2 years after the order expires (whichever is the longer)

Motoring Offences

Motoring offences are dealt with differently and drink driving offences can be a little confusing because under the rules above, a conviction where you receive a fine or a community order would technically be spent after 5 years. However, these remain relevant for a period of 10 years and your license would only be deemed clean after 11 years.

Penalty points are only valid on your license for a period of 3 years but the points must remain physically on your license for 4 years. At the end of the 4 year term you can send your license back to the DVLA for the endorsements to be removed from your counterpart license.

Criminal Record – Exemptions

There are a number of professions that are exempt from the rehabilitation rules meaning that you are obliged to disclose ALL of your previous convictions and cautions (spent or otherwise). These are:

Accountants, Actuaries, Chartered Psychologists, Court Officers (including Justices’ Clerks and their Assistants), Dealers in securities, Dentists (including dental hygienists and dental therapists), Directors, Controllers or Managers of Insurance Companies, Firearms Dealers, Home Inspectors, Judicial Appointments, Lawyers and Legal Executives, Managers or Trustees under a Unit Trust Scheme, Medical Practitioners, Members of Boards of Prison Visitors, Nurses and Midwives, Occupations regulated by the Gaming Board for Great Britain, Officers and employees of Prisons (including remand centres, removal centres, short-term holding facilities, young-offender institutions, Officers and Employees of the Crown Prosecution Service, the Serious Fraud Office, the Serious Organized Crime Agency, Her Majesty’s Customs and Revenue, Optometrists and Dispensing Opticians, Pharmaceutical Chemists and Registered Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians, Police constables, Cadets and Police Force employees and assistants, Registered Chiropractors, Registered Osteopaths, Registered Dieticians, Paramedics, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Radiographers, Speech and Language Therapists and Clinical Scientists, Teachers, Traffic Officers, Traffic wardens and Veterinary surgeons.