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Convictions that become spent immediately

Information on convictions that become spent immediately

Immediately spent Court convictions

Some findings of guilt by a Court can become spent on the day the person is convicted. These are called 'immediately spent convictions'. These are convictions (whether recorded in Victoria, interstate or internationally) where:

  • a finding of guilt is made but the Court does not record a conviction (e.g. Section 76 Sentencing Act, proven without conviction
  • the conviction is a qualified finding of guilt under the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997 (or corresponding law). This includes serious convictions.
  • the person was under 15 years old at the time they committed the offence (including serious convictions)
  • the only penalty was a fine in the Children's Court (or equivalent)

See:

Immediately spent infringements convictions

Infringements usually include things like drink or drug driving or excessive speeding (that is, 25km/hr or more above the speed limit, or driving at more than 130km/hr in a 110km/hr zone) or drink driving while operating a boat. These are often referred to as 'traffic tickets' or simply 'tickets'.

A person can deal with one of these infringements by paying the prescribed fee and accepting any associated sanction (e.g. demerit points or drivers' licence suspension).

When a person does this without referring the matter to Court then it is an infringements conviction and it immediately spent.

See s. 7(1)(e)—Spent Convictions Act 2021 (Vic).

'Infringement convictions' that may not be immediately spent

However, there are several situations where an infringement may be referred to court. These include:

  • a person exercises their right to apply for internal review, and the enforcement agency refuses the internal review request and instead elects to proceed to court via charge and summons.
  • a person successfully applies for enforcement review on the basis of special circumstances, exceptional circumstances or under the family violence scheme, and enforcement review is granted by Fines Victoria, but the original enforcement agency then elects to proceed to court by charge and summons.
  • a person elects to refer the matter to court themselves, resulting in a charge and summons being issued.

In all of these examples what began as an infringement is no longer categorised as an infringement or an ‘infringement conviction’ under s7(1)(e) of the Act and the applicant may be subject to a conviction period if they are found guilty of the offence by a court.

Return to the main page on spent convictions

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