Consequences of Having a Criminal Record in Australia


Some people don’t fully understand the serious consequences of having a criminal record in Australia and how it can affect many aspects of their life.

To them, they only focus on the criminal sanctions that arise from their conduct. But what about the other consequences? These include:  

  • Employment
  • Housing
  • Travel
  • Citizenship/Migration
  • Insurance


Can You Work With a Criminal Record?


Generally, Australian employers will not employ a person with a criminal record, particularly if the offence involves elements of dishonesty.

When applying for a job, most Australian employers conduct background checks, which may include a police check or a national police certificate.

If you have a criminal record, particularly for offences involving dishonesty, theft, or violence, employers may be hesitant to hire you.

They may perceive your criminal history as a potential risk to the workplace or clients and may prefer candidates with clean records.

Suppose you wish to apply for a job with the Australian Government or in health, law or childcare.

In that case, a police check will be required which will disclose your criminal record and may (likely) have implications on your job prospects in those specific industries.

While some employers may take into account an individual’s rehabilitation efforts and character references, others may be less forgiving.




Having a criminal record in Australia could hinder someone’s ability to obtain adequate housing.

Generally, a landlord wants to know the background of potential tenants and may therefore wish to conduct a criminal check before signing a lease.


Can You Travel With a Criminal Record?


Many countries require individuals to disclose their conviction records at customs before entry.

The United States and the UK have good character requirements for individuals applying for visas.

You must disclose any criminal convictions as part of the visa application process.

For example, Canada is particularly harsh when it comes to criminal records, requiring you to disclose even the most minor criminal convictions.

The conviction, the nature and seriousness of the offence and when it occurred will all be considered.


Citizenship & Migration Status


An applicant for Australian citizenship is required to let the Department of Home Affairs (Department) know if they have been found guilty in a court of law which has led to either imprisonment, a good behaviour bond or a fine.

If convicted of a crime in Australia, the Department will consider whether the applicant is eligible to remain in Australia.

A conviction for a serious crime may result in an automatic cancellation of a current visa and immediate deportation to the applicant’s home country.

Visas can also be cancelled on ‘character grounds’ which doesn’t even require a conviction to have been recorded.

Related blog – Applicant’s Australian Citizenship denied due to IVO & Domestic Violence convictions


Insurance with a Criminal Record


A criminal record can affect someone’s chance of obtaining insurance, particularly if the offence is arson or fraud.

A criminal record can be seen as an indicator of potential risk, as it suggests that the person may have engaged in activities that could lead to claims or fraudulent behaviour in the future.

Some Australian insurance companies will charge higher premiums or refuse to cover people with a criminal record.

It is important to be aware of the wide-reaching consequences that your actions may have on your life as some of these consequences can last a lifetime.


Contact Us


For more information about the consequences of having a criminal record and conviction in Australia, contact us at Bambrick Legal today. We offer a free, no-obligation 15-min consultation for all enquiries.

You can also read more about our dispute resolution services here.

Related Blogs – What Are Your Rights After Arrest? What Can the Police Lawfully Require From You?

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