How long do I have to wait before my criminal record is wiped in Queensland, Australia?
June 15, 2011 6:03 AM   Subscribe

I live in Queensland, Australia. Is there a certain time you have to wait before your criminal record is wiped? I want to become a doctor...

I got done for stealing a lot and finished the drug court program about 6 years ago. I want to enroll in University to study medicine so one day I could become a doctor (General practitioner), but a prerequisite to enrolling into University is a federal police records check and I'm afraid I'd fail that...
posted by Bacillus to Law & Government (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have never been to jail...
posted by Bacillus at 6:04 AM on June 15, 2011

You wrote above: I have never been to jail...

In one of your previous questions: Two years after high school, I got involved with the wrong people for the wrong reasons and ended up in jail.

I have no idea of the implications jail may have, however clarifying might make a difference.

And yes, I'm aware of this Meta.
posted by qwip at 6:28 AM on June 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

This is something the admissions people at the university where you want to study could possibly help you with- call anonymously if you want, and ask them what the record check entails and what results have an impact on your chances of getting in.
posted by MadamM at 6:36 AM on June 15, 2011

IANYL. See here. Looks like it depends on a few things--the offence, whether you were convicted as a adult or a juvenile, and possibly other things. Definitely talk to the admissions office at the university, but note also the reference to the possibility that whether you have to disclose a conviction may vary depending on who is asking and under what circumstances. If you have ambitions to become a doctor, it might be as well to find out how the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency might view your record, even though it will, of course, be some years off yet whatever happens. Note particularly in view of qwip's comment above that medical boards and such like traditionally insist on full and complete disclosure to the greatest extent that the law allows. Being economical with the truth in those circumstances is absolute poison if you get caught at it.
posted by Logophiliac at 8:32 AM on June 15, 2011

Legal Aid Queensland (as Logophiliac linked to) also has a free legal advice service. Give them a call.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 12:26 PM on June 15, 2011

There'll be a difference between the requirements of the Faculty you're enrolling in and the medical standards boards who certify practicioners (as Logophiliac's linked to). I've never heard of people with criminal records being denied access purely to enrolment in a university course.

Do you have a bachelor's degree? Generally medicine in Australia is a postgraduate degree you start after having finished a previous four year course---typically a Bachelor of Science. And I've known more than one BSc student and graduate who's had trouble with the law.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 2:46 PM on June 15, 2011

You need to contact the relevant college to see if they would admit you post-graduation. The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners is where you start. here.

In addition, each hospital you would work at during your training could be problematic, ring Queensland Health also.
posted by taff at 3:06 PM on June 15, 2011

Recent events in Qld may have made the authorities look more closely at who is employed in hospitals (the Patel case), but you would have to check to see if that has implications for you as a private practicioner (or for the completion of your training).

Good luck
posted by GeeEmm at 4:39 PM on June 15, 2011

IANYL, but for a crime under QLD law (eg not Federal or another state or territory) this would appear to be the legislation applicable to you (Criminal Law (Rehabilitation
of Offenders) Act 1986).

Note, in particular, the definition of "rehabilitation period" in s3 - Interpretation. Depending on your circumstances, it might be a 5 or 10 year period from conviction.

Note also s6: Non-disclosure of convictions upon expiration of rehabilitation period

Where the rehabilitation period has expired in relation to a conviction recorded against any person and the conviction has not been revived in respect of the person, neither that person nor any other person, if the person knows that the rehabilitation period has expired, shall disclose the conviction unless [various things you can read for yourself]

s. 8 Lawful to deny certain convictions

(1) Where the rehabilitation period has expired in relation to a conviction recorded against any person and the conviction has not been revived in respect of the person, it is lawful to claim, upon oath or otherwise, that the person has not suffered the conviction, except [in circumstances you can read for yourself]

Note that this doesn't seem to "wipe" your conviction altogether, but it makes it legal to say you have never been convicted, and makes it illegal for anybody else (in most circumstances) to say that you were.

Another way you could test your status without having to wade through all of this, would be to request a National Crimial History Check for yourself - should only set you back $46.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:57 PM on June 15, 2011

PS - here's the same act on austlii, which is your go-to place for up-to-date legislation & case law.

Poke around for yourself for your own information, but please consult with a lawyer for proper professional advice.

This is not legal advice, yada yada.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:08 PM on June 15, 2011

Getting into medicine is an enormously difficult challenge, and a criminal record may be the least of your problems. Did you have a uni in mind? Were you planning on sitting the UMAT and going for undergrad, or GAMSAT / postgrad (doing an undergrad degree first, or do you already have one?)

It's more likely that a criminal record would prevent you from admission to the relevant college or professional practicing body after uni, so you should seek the results of an NCHC as suggested by UbuRoivas above and discuss the results with the relevant body.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 8:58 PM on June 15, 2011 [1 favorite]

I emailed the Queensland Police and this is what they replied...

Unfortunately QLD records are always kept however, dependent on the type of criminal history check that you apply for, the charges may not be disclosed. For example, if you apply for a national police certificate ‘name only’ (which is the general check for employment etc) then it will disclose any convictions from the last 5 years for Magistrates Court or 10 years for District Court. There are also some charges that can be revived if there are District Court matters or you were sentenced to an extended jail term, but that is the general rule. If you wish to discuss this in more detail, please don’t hesitate to call.
posted by Bacillus at 9:02 PM on June 15, 2011

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