The changes to the rehabilitation periods under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 brought in by the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 came into force on the 10 March 2014. These reforms affect the period of time that must pass before an offence is considered spent under law and no longer need to be disclosed.
Where do the changes to the rehabilitation periods apply?
The changes apply to the law in England and Wales. The interesting fact for some policyholders in Scotland and Northern Ireland is that their policy may well be issued in England and written under English Law.
What is the effect of the changes to rehabilitation periods under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012?
The period in respect of many offences has been reduced, in some cases halved from its previous level. The period for more serious offences involving a longer custodial sentence and motoring offences are not affected by the changes. The principal rehabilitation periods for offences may be viewed here.
When do the changes to rehabilitation periods apply from?
The changes have been introduced retrospectively, so they apply to all sentences that are passed down in the future but also to convictions in the past. This will lead to some people being free from a duty to disclose offences with effect from the 10 March 2014 that would previously not be considered spent.
Do the changes affect persons convicted under the age of 18?
Yes for most convictions there is a distinct, shorter period of rehabilitation for offenders who were under 18 at the time of their conviction.
Does the Act change the duty of disclosure for motoring offences on motor insurance policies?
No the act specifically excludes motoring offences from the changes and the period of rehabilitation for a standard motoring endorsement is 5 years.