What Would a Police Check Reveal About Your Background?
There are two main types of criminal background checks, which include state and national police checks. The former is issued by a police department and involves results of guilt from that particular state only. This type of criminal record check does not reveal interstate matters, which also makes the results sufficient for court proceedings. Conversely, a national police check contains results for guilt from all Australian states. Unlike a police check, this one is not limited to a single state. The national police check has three divisions that include the following:
The Name Search
The Name Search is the most common criminal background check for both visa and employment purposes. It is based on your full name only and does not reveal any results against any undisclosed aliases and previous names.
Name with Fingerprint Search
This type of search is mostly intended for overseas employment, immigration, visa, and adoption purposes. It involves your fingerprints and name only. You are required to attend a fingerprint appointment personally.
Name with ASIO Security Assessment
This search is mostly for people who work in highly sensitive industries. Some of these industries include mining and agricultural companies.
What do Police Checks Contain?
A criminal background check contains all guilt results, which are wider than a court’s conviction. The results include good behavior bonds, admission of guilt, and community-based order. It also includes any suspended sentences.
All criminal checks reveal all guilt findings unless they are spent or are under the magistrate’s court diversion program. A guilty finding does not expire and is not removed from your record. It, however, may not be revealed if it is spent. Thus it is not shown to any employer or on criminal record requests. Information on spent offenses depends on federal and state legislation.
What is a Spent Finding?
For a police check, a criminal offense that is more than ten years old can be considered as spent. In states such as Queensland, some offenses that are five years and older may be spent. A crime may also be spent if you were a child at the time of conviction. Every state defines a spent finding on its terms; it is, therefore, important to check with your local legislation. For the national police checks, five years is enough for a finding to be spent if the person convicted was a child. Other cases have to be over ten years old for them to be spent.
When Can Spent Findings be Revealed?
There are instances when a requested criminal record requires an exempt. Some of these reasons include insurance, overseas visa, teaching career as well as licensing and registration purposes. All findings related to all these purposes must be revealed. Information on a spent offense can also be shown if it has the potential to prevent a crime or help to administer justice.
The details revealed depend on federal and state legislation. For instance, a criminal check for Working with Children will contain details that relate to kids and helps to reveal offenses that happened ten years or earlier. Some of these offenses include violence, serious sexual offenses or anything else that relates to children. A criminal record may also contain traffic incidents that involve a conviction, sentences, and penalties as well as outgoing or pending court proceedings.
What will a Criminal Record not Contain?
A copy of your criminal record will not reveal the following:
- Outcomes of no guilt
- Withdrawn charges
- On-the-spot fines
- Infringements incidents that do not go to court
- Infringement court orders
- Police warnings
- Details of a case under the magistrate court diversion program
- Intervention orders that were adhered to
- Children’s protection and court orders
- Involuntary mental health or community treatment orders
- Information about migration detention
- Cases prosecuted by private or individual agencies
- Overseas court case
- Professional disciplinary action
Keeping in mind that the release policies depend on the purpose of seeking information on a criminal background is important.
Diversion programs under the magistrate’s court, in some states such as Victoria, can help you to avoid a criminal record. If a diversion program is successful, the person convicted of the offense will not be found guilty. The outcome is recorded in the same way a police caution is. This record is not available to the public or any potential employers.
Getting a Criminal Background Check
The Australian police department does not give criminal records without a written permit. It provides national police checks for:
- Australian residents
- Employment seekers with the Commonwealth government
- Australian immigration
- Overseas employment and adoption
- Visa applications for international travels
All applicants are required to contact the Criminal Records Section in their state.
How to Check for a Criminal Record in your State
To check for a criminal record in your state, you need to fill out a form for a fee. The fee may be indexed each year depending on the state’s policies. You can also get details by calling the number provided by each state or download the application form from your state’s website. The release of each criminal record is governed by the state laws and should not be revealed to any organization outside the sphere of administration of justice and law enforcement.
Fingerprint checks are only conducted where there is a legal requirement. The police will run your fingerprints against a database of records. In most cases, it takes a while before the results are produced. There are also additional costs that are associated with this type of criminal record check. When this service is required, your responsibility is to get a full set of fingerprints from your local police. The original form containing your fingerprints must be posted alongside your application form.
People can request their criminal records from the provided platforms. Australian police release all findings of guilt, whether it was recorded or not. Minor or too old offenses may not be revealed on the released criminal record. These records are important for prevention of potential crimes and justice administration purposes.