Spent convictions

Further Information about ‘Spent’ Convictions and Rehabilitation Periods

(REHABILITATION OF OFFENDERS ACT 1974: REHABILITATION PERIODS)

What is a ‘Spent’ Conviction?

Convictions are ‘spent’ when a specific period of time – known as a ‘rehabilitation period’ – has passed since you were convicted and you have not re offended during that period.

How long is a ‘Rehabilitation Period’?

The length of a ‘rehabilitation period’ will depend on the sentence received, and sentences longer than 30 months imprisonment can never be ‘spent’.

The table below gives details of the length of ‘rehabilitation periods’ for various sentences.

Sentence received Aged 18 years and over at time of conviction Aged under 18 years at time of conviction
Prison or young offender institution (immediate or suspended sentence) over 6 months but less than 30 months 10 years 5 years
Prison or young offender institution (immediate or deferred sentence) of 6 months or less 7 years 3½ years
Fine / community service / supervised attendance order / curfew order 5 years 2½ years
Absolute discharge or admonishment 6 months 6 months
Disqualification Until disqualification period ends Until disqualification period ends
Probation imposed after 5 February 1995 5 years 2½ years or length of probation period, whichever is longer
Hospital order 5 years from date of conviction or 2 years from the termination of the hospital order, whichever is longer 5 years from date of conviction or 2 years from the termination of the hospital order, whichever is longer

Discharge etc from Her Majesty’s Service

Sentence received Aged 18 years and over at time of conviction Aged under 18 years at time of conviction
Discharge with public disgrace or dismissal with public disgrace 10 years 5 years
Dismissal 7 years 3½ years
Any detention in respect of a conviction in service disciplinary hearings 5 years 2½ years