Conducting police checks is now a common practice amongst employers across Australia. Knowing about your criminal history helps businesses assess your integrity and reliability as an employee. It is, however, equally important for you to know what you’re signing up for when you consent to a police check.
What information is released on a criminal history certificate?
A police check reveals a summary of your criminal record. If you don’t have a criminal record, the result on your released police certificate will be non-disclosable court outcome.
Your criminal record is stored in a central database maintained by the South Australia Police and usually consists of the following information:
- Personal information (name, alias, address, date of birth etc.)
- List of offences for which you have been charged/arrested ( If applicable)
- Court appearances ( If applicable)
- Information about convictions, including the date of conviction, whether it was recorded, and details of the offences for which you were convicted ( If applicable)
- Information about the sentences you received for those convictions ( If applicable)
- Other information such as outstanding warrants and restraining orders ( If applicable)
You should note, however, that some parts of your criminal record are protected from disclosure under the law. This means that the police will be able to view your entire record on their internal database without necessarily being able to release all of it on the Police Certificate.
What information is not released on your police clearance?
In South Australia, the Spent Convictions Act 2009 (SA) lays out the grounds on which your criminal record will be protected from disclosure during a police check. These include:
When the conviction is not recorded
When you appear in court after being charged with an offence, the judge decides whether you are guilty or not guilty of the offence. A conviction essentially means a guilty verdict and becomes a part of your criminal record.
However, sometimes the judge makes the decision ‘without conviction’ or orders for the conviction to not be recorded. In those circumstances, the information about the offence, the judge’s decision, or the conviction may still show up on your police clearance certificate depends on the purpose of your police application.
When the conviction is quashed or pardoned
A conviction will cease to appear on your certificate if it has been officially quashed or pardoned by a court. If you have already been convicted of an offence and were wondering whether it is worth to pursue getting it quashed, this bit of information might help you make up your mind!
When the conviction is spent based on a time lapse
Sometimes, a conviction does not show up on your criminal history when enough time has lapsed between the date of conviction and the date on which the police clearance is requested.
In other cases, there are some types of offences that can never be spent no matter how long ago it took place! Depends on the purpose of the police clearance certificate, the police will determine if it is appropriate to release the result or not.
When can an employer view your criminal record?
Your criminal history can only be released to your employer with your permission.
While you are entitled to access your own criminal history, members of the public will need your signature of consent to gain access to this information.
If you apply through InterCheck, you can give the permission to us to send the result straight to your employer when you filling out the form. Alternatively, you can give consent to your employer to perform police check on your behalf.
How do you get a police check?
You can get a police clearance from a certified provider such as InterCheck, which is recognised by most employers across Australia. Most of the results are back within 1-2 business days and the process is seamless with our user-friendly application form.
If you are a business and wish to get a FREE online management platform for all your police checks, please click below
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