Whilst answering enquiries for Unlock’s helpline I came across the following email from a client, which typifies the type of questions we often get asked. This one relates to relevant orders which have ‘no specified end date’. The following exchange between our client and Disclosure Scotland clears up this point once and for all.
Question to Disclosure Scotland
“Sadly, about 3 years ago, I got into a situation with an ex -partner which, due to a complex set of circumstances, ended with a conviction. I received a fine together with a restraining order. The restraining order had no duration or time specified.
Due to the restraining order not having an end date, I wanted to know whether this would cause a drag through effect and stop my conviction becoming spent? Fines usually become spent 12 months from the date of conviction. The date of my conviction was December 2012.
I was wondering therefore if you could clarify the situation.
Many thanks for your help”
Answer from Disclosure Scotland
“Restraining orders which have no duration/or time specified have a 2 year rehabilitation period. However, in the case where a relevant order is ‘indefinite’ it will still be considered to be live and therefore has a rehabilitation period of 100 years.
We can confirm therefore from the information that you have provided that under new legislation introduced in March 2014, your conviction is now considered spent when applying for a Basic certificate.
Date of conviction December 2012
Fine ( 1 year rehab period) considered spent December 2013
Restraining order no duration/time specified (2 year rehab period) considered spent December 2014 (ROA under English and Welsh legislation)
I hope this information is of assistance”
While this is a success story for this particular client, we would advise you to look carefully at what duration has been placed on your order. ‘Indefinite’ means your conviction will never be spent until such a time as you have gone back to court to have it amended. If the order states ‘Until further notice’, again you will need to go back to court to have an end date placed on the order.
Restraining order’s with no duration or time specified will become spent automatically after two years.