The Law Institute of Victoria claims that other states have created their own spent conviction scheme; hence the state government of Victoria should do the same.
Offences that can be considered as minor include charges such as fraudulent use of a state transit concession card, possession of cannabis or shoplifting.
The main objective of this scheme is to allow people with minor offences to get their names cleared off from the criminal records.
For a person to be qualified or be eligible for the scheme, then they must have spent a number of years in a recreational facility. In addition, the individual should not have committed another offence during the waiting period.
Here are the conditions that cover convictions for a State offence:
- A regulatory or stator exclusion does not apply;
- The individual has not committed another offence during the 10-year waiting period;
- The offender wasn’t sentenced to imprisonment for a period exceeding 30 months;
- It has been 10 years from the date of the conviction
Take note that the scheme also applies to convictions that have been pardoned or set aside under Part VIIC of the Crimes Act 1914.
Other states have reported that since they introduced the scheme, it has helped offenders participate fully in the community by finding new employment opportunities.
“I believe that the time has come for Victoria to introduce such a positive scheme, just like the rest of Australia,” said LIV president Belinda Wilson.
Ms Wilson added that many Victorians have been exposed to discrimination which has undermined their ability to fully participate in the society’s activities. The reason behind this is because there is lack of a formal spent convictions scheme for Vic as a state.
Ms Wilson made it clear that she was not against the initial punishment imposed for a proven offence. But her main issue with the state government of Victoria is that they prevent an offender from reintegrating and rehabilitating into society even after serving their punishment.
Ms Wilson said that charges removed under the scheme would relate to behaviour that occurred during a phase of a person’s life, mental health issues, a period of difficulty, or during a lapse of judgment that they have moved on from by the time they appear before the court.
The LIV president said that it was sad to see that in Victoria, all crimes will still show up on an offender’s record, even in cases of non-conviction. In worst cases, you will also find pending cases still appearing on an individual’s record, even if they have not yet been found guilty.
She also urged the state government of Victoria to change the fact whereby police in Victoria have the discretion to choose which parts of an individual’s criminal record appears on their criminal check.