Jeremy contacted our helpline when he needed some advice around the disclosure of a motoring offence.
Jeremy explained that he had recently finished university and had been offered a solicitors training contract with a law firm. At a recent meeting with the solicitors he’d been told that under Solicitors Regulation Authority guidelines he needed to disclose any incidents which resulted in a court appearance.
He had checked the guidelines himself and read:
‘Motoring offences that result in a criminal conviction must be disclosed.
Motoring offences that do not result in a criminal conviction do not need to be disclosed’.
Jeremy told us that approximately 10 years previously, he’d been to court for a motoring offence where he’d received a fine and 6 points on his licence. Although Jeremy was under the impression that this wasn’t classed as a conviction, he was confused about whether he should disclose it or not and thought that it would probably be best to be upfront and honest and disclose.
We explained to Jeremy that as he had been to court, then his offence would be classed as a conviction. We read through the SRA guidelines which stated that the SRA would carry out standard Disclosure and Barring Service criminal record checks and told Jeremy that for the time being, he would have to disclose his conviction to the SRA, especially as it would appear on his DBS check. However, on the eleventh anniversary of the offence, his conviction would be eligible for filtering and he would no longer have to disclose it and it would not appear on any type of criminal record check.
Despite having to disclose his conviction, it did not fall into a category which would result in an automatic refusal by the SRA and we provided Jeremy with some advice about when and how to disclose. We mentioned to Jeremy that it the SRA refused his application he should try to establish whether he would have the right to appeal the decision.
When we contacted Jeremy several weeks later, he confirmed that his conviction had made no difference to his employers or the SRA and he had stated his training contract.
I approached the disclosure confidently as I knew what steps I had to take. I appreciate the great advice I’d been given at a really difficult time.
This case highlights how being very clear about what you need to disclose will enable you to do it more confidently, giving just enough information for an organisation to make an informed decision without it coming across as making an excuse.
Notes about this case study
This case study relates to Unlock’s helpline.
Names and details have been changed to protect the identity of those involved.