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will a conviction in Switzerland be spent in the UK?


will a conviction in Switzerland be spent in the UK?

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Eustace
Eustace
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Hello Glasse,

I am not clear if you are seeking advice or just wishing to discuss a problem generally, but the status of your conviction in Switzerland is irrelevant to this. For UK rehabilitative purposes, the matter is treated as if you had been convicted in the UK. So, to put it plainly, just because the conviction is spent in Switzerland, it does not follow that it is now also spent in the UK.

This begs the question: what sentence did the Swiss court impose back in 2003? We would need to know this in order to decide whether the conviction is now to be considered spent for UK purposes because this is about how the UK treats the conviction, not how the Swiss authorities treat the conviction. That, I hope, is clear enough, but if you do need guidance, then by all means tell us what the sentence was and we can then confirm the position, both in relation to whether the conviction is spent for UK purposes and also whether you might have recourse against the employer. It would also be helpful to know what type of job or position you were applying for and whether in the public or private sector.

Post Edited (Eustace) : 18/02/2013 13:23:56 GMT


Eustace
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Glasse said...
thx for the reply Eustace... Yes, just to clarify I was sentenced to an 18 month suspended period + expulsion/deported from Switzerland for 3 years.. I am a mechanical engineer and have been seeking employment with engineering firms (Private sector) here in the UK...

It is strange for me to accept that a criminal case which is considered spent and expunged from the criminal database system of it's original country should even be an issue here in the UK.. This is simply not fair..


Glasse,

What's important here is the phrase which I have emboldened above, in which you refer to an 18 month suspension. This sounds to me like some kind of suspended prison sentence. The equivalent in England & Wales would be where a defendant has committed an offence that the judge considers warrants a custodial term of 12 months or less but instead of committing the defendant to prison, the judge decides to put the defendant on probation in the community for a fixed period (usually two years or less), during which time the defendant must be of good conduct or risk activating the original prison term. This is what we call a suspended prison sentence.

Did the Swiss court do something similar to this?

Can you also confirm in which month of 2013 you were convicted? I ask because, if this was the Swiss equivalent of a suspended prison sentence, then rehabilitation under current UK law is 10 years from the date of conviction. So, let's say (I'm picking a date out at random) the Swiss court convicted you on 5 May 2003 and then let's say they sentenced you on 9 May 2003, your Swiss conviction becomes spent for UK purposes on 5 May 2013 (i.e. 10 years from the date of conviction). But the timings depend on what the nature of the sentencing was and whether there is equivalence. I suppose with this type of offence (handling stolen goods is a relatively minor offence in England & Wales), a lack of equivalence in sentencing might be to your advantage, but we're jumping ahead slightly - we need to know precisely what you mean by the phrase above.

Post Edited (Eustace) : 18/02/2013 15:10:33 GMT


Eustace
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Glasse,

If we assume that 12 January 2003 was the date of conviction in Switzerland, then for UK purposes that conviction became spent on 12 January 2013. What is needed is simply a letter to Disclosure Scotland informing them that: (a). this was a prison sentence of 18 months suspended for three years; (b). which is the equivalent of a UK suspended sentence; (c). therefore the conviction should be considered spent on the tenth anniversary, that is 12 January 2013; and, (d). you would like to hear back from them within thirty (30) days with written confirmation that the conviction is now treated as spent and will not appear in future Basic checks.

I suggest you enclose with the letter a copy of the certificate of conviction from the Swiss court to verify what happened in 2003 as this pre-empts the delaying tactic of asking you for proof of the conviction, which these bureaucracies sometimes try on. There should be no need to provide anything else from the Swiss authorities. The other legal document confirming that the conviction is spent in Switzerland and you have no other Swiss convictions is of no assistance here, for the reasons given above. Besides, if information about the conviction itself was transferred from Switzerland to the UK, then it can be assumed that any subsequent transgression of probation or any other convictions in Switzerland would also show in UK records. You state there are none, so the conviction is now definitely spent for UK purposes also and Disclosure Scotland should confirm this to you in short order.

I recommend you send the letter by first class recorded mail, so that you have some evidence of having sent the request. If they don't come back to you in 30 days, then I would chase them. I can't see any issues though.

Now, about that employer - can you provide some basic chronology of events, including when you applied for the job, when you accepted their job offer, and roughly when the DBS check was authorised and undertaken? Has the employer actually confirmed to you in writing or by e-mail that the job offer is withdrawn due to the result of the DBS check? If so, what was the date of that communication? How long had you been working for the employer, if at all, before all this transpired? Were you asked at any stage to voluntarily declare criminal convictions? If so, were you truthful?

Post Edited (Eustace) : 18/02/2013 16:49:38 GMT


Glasse
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Eustace, thank you for your detailed advice. I will proceed as you have suggested and hope they resolve this issue asap..

As for the the situation with the employer that rejected me - I will not pursue the matter with them any further as I have been offered another job at a another company which I plan to take. My main concern right now is to resolve this issue with Disclosure Scotland asap so as to avoid a repeat of the same situation with the new company.. The new company has given me a starting date window of 3 months and they have not thus far asked or suggested for a background check. I just want to make sure that there will be no issue should they ask for one at some point down the line..

Once again, thank you for your kind advice..
Glasse
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Eustace, you are in fact correct, it is actually a suspended prison sentence of 18 months (suspended for 3 years).. The court final hearing/judgment was on the 12th of January 2003, and I'm therefore also assuming that this should be now spent under UK law..

I actually called Disclosure Scotland today and they advised me to put my complaint in a letter and send it to them and they will try to resolve this issue for me.. So here's hoping it wont take too long..

thx for your advice..
Glasse
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thx for the reply Eustace... Yes, just to clarify I was sentenced to an 18 month suspended period + expulsion/deported from Switzerland for 3 years.. I am a mechanical engineer and have been seeking employment with engineering firms (Private sector) here in the UK...

It is strange for me to accept that a criminal case which is considerred spent and expunged from the criminal database system of it's original country should even be an issue here in the UK.. This is simply not fair..

Post Edited (Glasse) : 18/02/2013 14:33:54 GMT


Glasse
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Hi All, I'm new here and would like to have some of your collective advise and wisdom on an unusual problem I'm facing at the moment.. I basically have a record dating back to 2003 from Switzerland which recently came up in a Basic Disclosure Scotland check as part of the screening process for a job i'd applied to in the UK.

From some basic Google research, my understanding is that according to Swiss law, my crime (handling of stolen goods), is supposed to be considered spent and so the record should be removed from general access by January this year 2013. I have recently contacted the Swiss criminal records bureau and they sent me a legal document which clearly indicates that I do not have a criminal record in their country.

My problem right now is that clearly there seems to be some data held on me within the PNC database which Disclosure Scotland has accessed, and from there my 2003 record was made public to the company that I had applied to, which incidentally lost me the job offer ("job offer rescinded"Wink..

Has anybody come across such a problem.. ?!

Ps. I'm a UK citizen and have had no other problems with the law since..
Flinch
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Dear Glasse,

Did you have a family back in Switzerland while you were sentenced on probation for 18 months and deported. The reason I ask is because, my son is facing the same problem but he is married with 2 children and his wife is French.

Thanks
Monkos
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How on earth did Disclosure scotland even find out about in the first place?
Yankee
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Monkos - 28 Aug 18 2:07 PM

How on earth did Disclosure scotland even find out about in the first place?

System called ECRIS shares foreign conviction information with your home country. Details on UNlock's information hub (see link below)

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