Key questions that we know a lot of people visit this site to find an answer to are:

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. For further information:

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. To work out when your conviction/caution is spent, visit:

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.

  • Work out if it’s spent by using the links above
What types of jobs involve criminal record checks?

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. Some useful links include:

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. To help you work out whether your’s could be filtered, visit:

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 records, referred to as a subject access request. For further information:

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. Some useful links include:

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. Some useful links include: