Data Protection & Your Criminal Record

Disclosure of criminal history is something that is becoming more and more important when seeking employment, positions that involve trust and responsibility or for foreign travel. Even an arrest for a relatively low level offence that results in the police taking no further action against you can have far reaching implications, as that information will be stored and can, in certain circumstances, be disclosed as part of your criminal record.

The law relating to the retention and disclosure of criminal records is complex and varies greatly in the different circumstances in which a criminal record may be relevant. However, there are often strategies an experienced criminal solicitor familiar with the retention and disclosure rules can employ to;

  •  mitigate the effect of criminal proceedings on your criminal record,
  •  avoid damaging criminal records being created in the first place, or
  •  apply for criminal history information to be removed or deleted from your record.

 

Disclosure for Professionals

Criminal background checks are routinely carried out when applying to join certain industries or professions. Often these checks are required by law, and the professional body will usually want proof of a criminal history as part of the application process. The process for obtaining a criminal background check can often be daunting and confusing. At Lansbury Worthington we understand the law and the rules relating to the disclosure of criminal history and we are familiar at dealing with the background checks and disclosure requirements of the various professional bodies.

 

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Our Service

We are a firm of solicitors experienced in all aspects of criminal law. We have a team of solicitors who are familiar with the legislation and rules relating to the retention and disclosure of criminal records and associated data. We have regularly represented clients in protecting their criminal histories, mitigating the effect of proceedings on their criminal histories, and challenging the information held or disclosed as part of their criminal history.

We are happy to provide an initial one hour conference to discuss your particular concerns, and provide appropriate written advice for a fixed fee of £480 including Vat.

 

We can provide advice and assistance in the following areas:

Retention of criminal history

Rehabilitation of offenders

The Disclosure & Barring Service (the new CRB)

Foreign Travel

Insurance

 

Recent Case Examples

Mr E – was looking to emigrate to Australia but was concerned that an arrest in 2006 for an alleged domestic assault he was never found guilty of would prejudice his immigration application. By seeking specialist advice at Lansbury Worthington he was able to secure a Police Conviction Certificate that avoided any mention of the arrest, and was appropriate for immigration purposes.

Mr R – was a client who had accepted a police caution for a minor sex offence in 2001. He was recently written to be the Disclosure & Barring Service who told him they were considering adding his name to the DBS Barred List that would have prevented him from working in regulated activities with children and vulnerable adults. After representations were made on his behalf by Lansbury Worthington the Disclosure & Barring Service confirmed they would not be adding his name to either barred list.

Mr T – was a youth with a clean criminal record who found himself charged with driving with no insurance and no licence. Usually minor offences such as these would be dealt with through an out of court disposal such as a fixed penalty, ‘triage’ or a youth caution, but because these offences required the DVLA to endorse the driving licence it had to be prosecuted in court. This inevitably lead to the risk that the client would be treated as ‘convicted’ of these offences and this would have seriously prejudiced his employment opportunities as the convictions would need to be disclosed. However, an early intervention by Lansbury Worthing on behalf of the client meant that the court was able to deal with these matters in a way that caused no prejudice to the client’s criminal record.

Ms W – Successful representation of client who faced a criminal prosecution in the middle of adoption proceedings. Had she been convicted, even though the offence was of a relatively minor nature, it would have had disastrous consequences for her adoption. However, by securing specialised advice from Lansbury Worthington regarding criminal proceedings and the disclosure process through the Disclosure & Barring Service any prejudice that the criminal prosecution would otherwise have caused was avoided.

Mr O – We represented a first time offender in his mid 40s who was accused of committing an assault on the London underground. The client worked in corporate insurance in the City of London, and a conviction would have had serious consequences for his professional career. A conviction was avoided and along with the adverse disclosure consequences for his criminal record.

Ms G – was prosecuted for a motoring offence which she accepted and faced immediate disqualification from driving. However, she fortunately instructed Lansbury Worthington at an early stage in the proceedings. We successfully represented her not only avoiding the disqualification, but by securing an absolute discharge she also avoided a conviction that she otherwise would have had to disclose for many years for insurance and employment purposes.

Recently, we have defended numerous prosecutions by Transport for London for alleged fare evasion. Often these prosecutions have been brought unfairly against members of the public who were not aware that they were committing an offence. In these circumstances, early instruction is vital to avoid a criminal prosecution leading to conviction. For a fixed fee we can provide specialised advice and assistance to give you the best chance to avoid prosecution.

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Ben Holden
Solicitor, Trial Advocate and Team Leader
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