When it comes to Rehabilitation and the internet, what about the situation where you were charged with an offence, taken to court, convicted and under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (as amended) the conviction is now spent? The details, however, are still recorded out there on the internet.

Carry out a search using any search engine and you find the conviction is still out there for the world to find. You may not have to tell anybody that you have the conviction now that it is spent, but what if e.g. a prospective employer carries out an internet search upon you and comes across the record of the conviction? You cannot be refused a job on the basis of the spent conviction, but it is likely to weigh in the balance and you will find you are rejected for a reason that does not mention the internet search.

The problem is twofold. There are the news sites that carry the reports and there are the search engines that reproduce the details in their report pages. The problem is that there is no way that the news sites or the search engines could possibly know that your conviction is spent. Mere knowledge of the date of conviction and the details of the sentence is not enough. If you want to at least attempt to clear things up on the internet then appropriate contact needs to be made with the right people. We can help you with that.

There are unfortunately some sites on the internet that carry details of convictions where a request/demand to take the material down results in an offer to do so on payment of an extortionate “administration fee”. You might need to take a tough decision with these people. However, if the correspondence with the search engines goes well you might find they disappear from the results.

An anomaly at the present time arises because if you have been charged and taken to court where you were acquitted then any news report about the acquittal is not covered by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. There remains therefore the prospect that somebody who is acquitted of an allegation may be in a worse position than somebody who is convicted. We can help you to try to clear matters up on the internet, even in acquittal cases.

Clarke Kiernan LLP, Rehabilitation solicitors,

1 Lamberts Yard, Tonbridge, TN9 1ER Phone: 01732360999, Fax: 01732353835, Dennis ClarkeMap