The consequences of a criminal conviction can be felt even after someone has moved on with their life. A criminal record can impact on job prospects, housing provision, family life, and travel, amongst many other issues.
One in six people in the UK has some form of criminal record and even if you have never been convicted of a crime, employers and authorities can find out information about you, such as police cautions, using the Disclosure and Barring Service checks.
Commons advises and represents people who seek to have their criminal records expunged or to challenge the information being disclosed about them. Legal work on criminal records can be necessary for issues that were resolved or were erroneously recorded by the police and courts decades ago. We can tell you whether a conviction is spent or if the caution you have received is filtered from disclosure. We can also advise you on whether you need to disclose information to a prospective or current employer or on a visa application.
We investigate and gather evidence from the police and other relevant public bodies using laws on evidence and Data Subject Access Requests. We advise you on your rights and on the operation of the Police National Computer. We can also instruct an independent forensic expert in order to put together the most persuasive and rounded argument to send to the relevant decision-making body.
Challenging criminal records is currently outside of the scope of Legal Aid public funding which means if you want legal assistance from our team, we will work with you to assess the complexity of your case and to provide you with a competitive fee for a privately funded instruction.