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Conditional discharge


Who is it issued by and how can I contact them?

Issued by the court – contact the relevant court.

Does it involve guilt?

Yes – it is passed when the court finds you guilty but does not pass a sentence, on the condition that you don’t reoffend within a specified time period. If a crime is committed within that period, you can be re-sentenced for the original offence. You may still have to pay compensation, prosecution costs or be disqualified from driving.

Is it recorded on the Police National Computer (PNC)?


Is it classed as a conviction?

No, unless the conditional discharge is breached and you are re-sentenced for the original offence. However for the purposes of filtering, it would be dealt with as a conviction.

How long will it be on my record?

It will remain on the PNC indefinitely and can still be mentioned in future criminal proceedings even after it has become spent.

When does it become spent?

At the end of the order.

When do I have to declare it?

Before it is spent you need to declare it, when asked, to employers, insurers and for some other financial checks. After it’s spent, it will still be disclosed on standard or enhanced checks, unless it is eligible for filtering.

Is it disclosed on DBS checks?

Yes, it is disclosed by both the standard and enhanced checks unless it is eligible for filtering. Once it’s spent, it will not be disclosed on a basic check.


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  1. Please can someone assist with removing my spent conditional discharge so my enhanced DBS will be clear

    1. Hi Lyn

      A conditional discharge can be filtered (removed) from an enhanced DBS certificate after a period of 11 years, providing it is not for an offence which is included on the DBS list of non-filterable offences (

      Filtering is an automatic process which happens at the point that your employer applies for your new DBS certificate. You don’t need to apply to have your conviction filtered.

      I hope this is helpful but feel free to give the helpline a ring if we can be of any further assistance. Our telephone number is 01634 247350.

      Best wishes


      1. Hi guys,

        Could someone help me to understand mine. I got a 2 year conditional which expired (I think I’m 2014, honestly I forget, could have been earlier). How does this impact travel? Say I want to travel to the United States or Australia, would i have to declare this conditional discharge? And if so, how long until I won’t have to declare it


        1. I was banned from driving through drug driving and given a 12 month conditional discharge, what happens after that as it says I won’t be punished for the drug driving offence as long as I don’t commit and offence within 12 months. Will I still be able to travel to the United States? I’m not sure how it all works

          1. Hi Levi

            With regards to travelling to the US, drug driving is not considered a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude (CIMT) and therefore if you are applying for an ESTA to travel for a holiday you would be able to tick the ‘No’ box which asks about criminal records. You can find further information at

            If you need to apply for a visa because you want to live or work in the States, then you would need to disclose the conviction.

            Best wishes


    2. Hi,
      I was caught on public transport for using someone else’s Oyster card. This resulted in me having a conditional discharge of 6 month after paying a fine of £70. When applying for university they will do an enhanced DBS, I was wondering if this will be filtered out and effect my outcome ?

  2. Can someone have more than 1 conditional discharge. I.e. sentenced to 6 month conditional discharge in October 2022 and in court in december for an offence in from July 2022. Can you have 2 at same time?

  3. Hi. I have a conditional discharge over 13 years ago, but it’s a non-filterable offence (possession of a firearm without a firearms licence.) This was for an airgun which was legal everywhere else in the UK, but turned out to be illegal in Northern Ireland. *However*, the essential evidence which caused the summons was the power of the airgun. Above a certain power it needed a certificate, but beneath that it was legal. Now my recollection of the forensic report was that it gave two readings for the power – foot per pound and Joules. However these readings didn’t convert properly – one was below the threshold and one above.

    At the time I just admitted that I’d bought the rifle unknowing of the difference in the rules, and accepted the magistrate’s conditional discharge. Just happy to see it gone.

    But now it trails me on my DBS, and I’m wondering if it is possible to challenge a 13 year old magistrates ruling based on the evidence that the forensic report has an error. Is this possible, and how do I do it?

    1. Hi Brian

      Generally, there is a very small window of opportunity in which to appeal a conviction (usually 28 days). An appeal can be made even more difficult if you have admitted guilt, although I can certainly understand the reason why you admitted buying the rifle. I’d definitely recommend getting some legal advice.

      Best wishes


  4. Hi I have a spent conditional discharge from 12 years ago. Will the police still have my DNA in the database or will it have been destroyed?

    1. Hi AJ

      If you are convicted of a criminal offence as an adult then details of the conviction along with your DNA will stay on the Police National Computer (PNC) until you are 100 years old.

      Best wishes


    1. Hi MJ

      I can confirm that a 12-month conditional discharge given in 2014 won’t appear on a basic DBS check.

      It will be disclosed on a standard and enhanced DBS for a minimum of 11 years.

      Best wishes


      1. Argue with my friend and hit his lip by accident. My friend didn’t sue me. But the police officer sue me to the court and I got 9 month conditional discharge.

  5. Hi, I had a conditional discharge when I was under 18, it was 1999. Will this be disclosed on an enhanced DBS?

    1. Hi Ben

      After a period of 5.5 years some convictions can be filtered (removed) from enhanced DBS certificates. Providing the offence you were convicted of does not appear on the DBS list of offences that will never be filtered (this can be found at – then you can be sure that it would not appear on your enhanced DBS certificate.

      Best wishes


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Debbie Sadler
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