A criminal conviction usually brings with it consequences in addition to the fines, imprisonment or other penalties imposed by a judge at sentencing. Depending upon the seriousness and type of offense, a criminal conviction can bring with it consequences that can last for decades after the sentence has been served. For individuals with UK criminal records, completion of a sentence does not necessarily mean that will not be reminded of the conviction again and again. There are at least five ways in which criminal records UK officials have can affect you.
Unable to get a job
Even though you do not have an obligation to disclose a criminal conviction to an employer who fails to ask about it, lying about UK criminal records can result in new criminal charges being filed. A conviction could be grounds for dismissal from your current job, and it can make it difficult to get hired by an employer once you complete your sentence.
Employers can obtain information about a job applicant's UK criminal records from the government. Under the Data Protection Act, you have the right to obtain a copy of your UK criminal records from the local police through what the law refers to as a "subject access request."
Expulsion from school
Depending upon the policy of the school attended by a student, a criminal conviction could result in expulsion. Applicants for admission to colleges and universities could be find that a criminal record results in the school denying them entry.
Denial of housing
Individuals applying for loans to purchase homes are required to disclose UK criminal records on the application. Failing to disclose a conviction could result in the lender having the right decline to grant the loan or, in cases where the money has already been lent to the person, it can give the lender the right to call in the balance that is owed.
Landlords have the right to decline to rent to individuals with UK criminal records. Public housing can be withheld from a person who has been convicted of committing a criminal act.
Lack of insurance coverage
Criminal convictions can make it impossible for you to obtain insurance of any kind. Those companies that issue policies to people with criminal records usually charge extremely high premiums.
Some countries impose travel restrictions on individuals with UK criminal records. The United States is one of the nations that does not ban all travel from the UK by individuals with criminal records, but it does require them to apply for and obtain a visa prior to traveling. Individuals without criminal convictions do not have the same restrictions imposed upon them.
If you have a criminal conviction in the UK, it might not be on your record. Some criminal convictions are "spent" after a specific time has elapsed following the conviction. Spent convictions are removed from criminal records UK officials maintain, so you should run a criminal records search periodically to make certain any old convictions are removed.