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Deletion of Criminal Records

Having a caution, conviction or even information about a police investigation that you have been subject to on your record can affect you when it comes to applying for:

  • Disclosure & Barring Service certificates
  • Applying for jobs
  • ACRO Police Certificates when applying for visas

If you have a police caution and want to explore whether you have any grounds to have it expunged, please get in touch with our specialist solicitors who will be happy to give you a free initial consultation.

In some cases, it’s possible for a specialist criminal defence solicitor to get information of this nature removed from your record or make representations on your behalf to have the information omitted from certain checks. We’ve been successful in ensuring that clients have not been prejudiced by having cautions, convictions or information about criminal cases disclosed on DBS certificates or ACRO Police Certificates.

However, it’s not possible to prevent a conviction or caution from being disclosed on an ACRO Police Certificate if it has been correctly disclosed according to the step down model.

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    Can you get a caution removed from your record?

    It’s possible to have a police caution removed, or “expunged”, from your record in certain circumstances. This means that it would not be disclosed on a DBS or ACRO certificate. If the police failed to follow the correct procedure when the caution was offered at the police station, then the caution could be vulnerable to an application for expungement.

    If you have a police caution and want to explore whether you have any grounds to have it expunged, please get in touch with our specialist solicitors who will be happy to give you a free initial consultation.

    "IT IS DIFFICULT TO PUT INTO WORDS JUST HOW MUCH YOUR WORK IN GETTING THE TWO CAUTIONS EXPUNGED MEANT TO ME... I KNOW THAT WITHOUT YOUR PATIENCE, EXPERTISE AND PERSISTENCE, I WOULD NOT BE IN THE POSITION I AM NOW."

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    What is a police caution/conviction?

    A police caution is an “out-of-court” disposal of a criminal charge. It’s a way of dealing with a criminal allegation that avoids taking a person through the court system. If an allegation is made and the person admits that they’ve committed the offence, the police can offer that person a caution.

    If the person accepts the caution, then the case goes no further. The offence is however recorded against the person on the Police National Computer, thereby giving that person a “criminal record”.

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    Why choose Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors?

    Getting convictions and cautions removed from your record is a complex task. There are lots of conditions and circumstances to consider. This means it’s vital that you get the approach correct.

    Our specialist solicitors can advise you in detail as to whether your caution and convictions can be removed. If they can, we’ll work closely with you throughout the process to help prevent incorrect cautions holding you back.

    "I AM THANKFUL EVERY DAY THAT I AM IN A MUCH BETTER PLACE THAN I WAS WHEN THE INCIDENT TOOK PLACE, AND WITHOUT YOUR ASSISTANCE, THAT SIMPLY WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN POSSIBLE. I TRULY APPRECIATE EVERYTHING YOU HAVE DONE FOR ME."

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    Frequently asked questions

    What is a DBS Check?

    The DBS is the Disclosure & Barring Service and they are the body with responsibility for performing background checks on people applying for certain types of employment or volunteering roles. They issue certificates containing the results of those background checks. There are four types of certificate – basic, standard, enhanced and enhanced with a barred list.

    • The basic certificate will disclose any unspent convictions on your record.
    • A standard certificate will disclose any unspent convictions and spent convictions or cautions that are not subject to the “filtering” rules.
    • An enhanced certificate will disclose any unspent convictions and spent convictions or cautions that are not subject to the “filtering” rules, as well as any “non-conviction” information that the police believe to be relevant to the post applied for.
    • An enhanced certificate with barring list will disclose the same information as an enhanced certificate. It will also disclose whether you are barred from working with children or vulnerable adults.

    What is an ACRO Police Certificate?

    An ACRO Police Certificate is a document that’s issued if you want to immigrate to certain countries such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and the USA. It discloses whether you have any convictions or cautions recorded. It is required as part of the visa verification process. Disclosure of convictions and cautions on an ACRO Police Certificate is governed by the ACRO “step down model”, which stipulates that disclosure of convictions and cautions should not take place after a certain amount of time has elapsed since the date of the conviction or caution. The exact length of time differs according to the offence and the sentence that was imposed.

    How do you find out what is on your criminal record?

    You can apply to ACRO for a copy of your record on the Police National Computer here.

    If you need more detailed information or need to find out if there is any non-conviction information held on you then you should make a Subject Access Request to the police force that you believe to be in possession of the information.

    How long does a caution stay on your record?

    A police caution will remain on your record until you reach 100 years old, unless it is expunged before then. 

    Depending on the severity of your offence, however, this can be filtered out of background checks after six years.

    How long does a conviction stay on your record?

    A conviction will remain on your record until you reach the age of 100. However, depending on the nature of the conviction, it can be filtered out of background checks after 11 years. 

    If you have more than one conviction, does this make a difference?

    Yes, it does. If you have more than one conviction on your record, then they will always be disclosed and will not be filtered. This rule is currently being challenged in the Supreme Court.

    When it is decided that there will be no further action on a matter does this information get removed?

    No. If you’ve been questioned by the police or come to their attention in relation to any criminal allegation then the police will probably hold a record of that on the local system of the force that received the information. That information will remain on the police’s local systems until/unless it’s deleted following an internal review or an application by the person whom the information relates to. If your case is NFA’d (No further Action) your fingerprints and DNA will however be deleted automatically (if the police do not seek permission to retain it).

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