If the court rules that you're guilty of a crime, you may get a conviction.
Having a conviction (or convictions) on your record means you might have trouble getting certain jobs or travelling internationally.
A conviction will appear on your National Police Certificate (NPC), which is often referred to as a 'police check'.
Not all convictions stay on your record forever. It's possible to have some removed, or ‘spent’. There are a few different ways this can happen, so it's important to seek legal advice about your specific circumstances.
In most circumstances, a spent conviction won't appear on your police records check and doesn't have to be disclosed when you're asked about your criminal history.
Complete a Magistrates Court Criminal Form 110 to apply to have a conviction spent.
Removing historical homosexual convictions
There's a special process for applying to have offences spent for conduct that's no longer a crime, such as homosexual activity, because it should never have been a crime.
Who can apply
Normally, the person who was convicted must apply. If that person has passed away or has a mental incapacity, someone else can apply on their behalf:
- a spouse or domestic partner
- an adult sibling or child
- a guardian (if they are incapacitated)
- the executor or administrator of their estate (if they are deceased)
- any other person that the magistrate considers is appropriate.
What you'll need
You'll need to provide:
- information about the conviction
- a national police check that is no more than 6 months old
- if possible, a transcript of sentencing remarks from the original court proceedings (you don't need to get this if you don't already have it).
Your national police check will have some of the relevant details and you can also contact the Courts Administration Authority to access court records - phone 8204 2444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to apply
It doesn't cost anything to apply, but there is a cost for getting a national police check.
Complete the application form and compile your supporting documents.
The form is available from the Courts Administration Authority:
- download from the Courts Administration Authority website (search for 'Form 110 - Application for Spent Conviction Order')
- ask for a form to be posted to you - phone 8204 2444 or write to:
Adelaide Magistrates Court
PO Box 6115, Halifax Street
Adelaide SA 5000
Lodge your application in person at the registry counter of the Magistrates Court.
You may be sent letters or emails about your application so if you're concerned about privacy, provide a postal or email address that nobody else can access.
What happens next
Usually a magistrate can decide your application based on the documents you provide and you will not have to attend a hearing.
If you do need to attend a hearing the court will notify you of the time and date. The hearing must be held in private unless you consent to a public hearing or the magistrate decides it should be public.
If you need help with your application contact:
- the Legal Services Commission - phone 1300 366 424
- a community legal centre
- a private lawyer (for referrals phone the Law Society on 8229 0200).
These organisations may also be able to assist:
- Council On The Ageing SA, Rainbow Hub (information and referral) - phone 8232 0422
- QLife - phone 1800 184 527 (3:00 pm to midnight daily)
- Lifeline - phone 13 11 14.
- Children and the law - Legal Services Commission
- Support for victims of crime - Commissioner for Victim's Rights
- Removing homosexual convictions - factsheet (PDF 290KB) - Attorney General's Department
- Removing homosexual convictions - easy read factsheet (PDF 870KB) - Attorney General's Department