We’ve provided below some key questions that we know a lot of people visit this site to find an answer to.

You may also find our top 10 things to know about criminal records and our list of important links and organisations useful.

1.  What do I need to know about my criminal record?

People are often unaware of the impact that a criminal record will have, for example when buying insurance or travelling abroad. Our top 10 things to know about criminal records provides a short summary of the key things people with convictions should know about their criminal record.

2.  Is my conviction/caution spent?

Generally speaking, unless you received a prison sentence of over 4 years, your conviction will become spent at some time under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. A quick and simple way to work out when your conviction/caution is spent is to use our disclosure calculator.

3.  Will my conviction/caution be disclosed on a basic disclosure?

Basic criminal record checks only disclose unspent convictions. Therefore, once your conviction is spent, it won’t be disclosed on a basic certificate.

4.  What types of jobs involve criminal record checks?

There are three types of criminal record check (basic, standard and enhanced). Any employer can carry out a basic criminal record check irrespective of the job you will be doing. Some employers will be able to undertake standard or enhanced checks, for example if you will be working in the security industry or with children or vulnerable adults. We’ve produced an A-Z of job roles and their eligibility for basic, standard and enhanced criminal record checks which sets out  the likely levels of disclosure required for different job roles.

5.  Will my caution/conviction be disclosed on a standard/enhanced DBS check? Or will it be filtered?

Since 2013 it has been possible to have some old and minor cautions and convictions filtered from standard and enhanced certificates after a set period of time. Once filtered, these will no longer be disclosed on standard and enhanced criminal record checks.

6.  How can I find out the details of my criminal record?

The easiest and cheapest way to find out about your criminal record is to apply for a copy of your police record, referred to as a subject access request.

7.  I need to get insurance – where can I go?

There are some high street insurers who can offer car insurance to anybody who has non-motoring convictions. If you’re looking for home insurance or need car insurance but have a motoring conviction, you may want to consider using the services of a specialist insurance broker. Remember – once your conviction is spent you don’t need to disclose it to an insurer.

8.  Does my record stop me from going to the United States?

Generally, those travelling to the US for leisure or business stays of less than 90 days can travel under the Visa Waiver Programme (ESTA). However, if you’ve been arrested or convicted of certain types of offences, you may need to apply to the American Embassy for a visa.

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