There are some key requirements for a criminal record to be rendered spent.
First, the offender must satisfy a crime-free period: As defined in the RCA, a “crime-free period” means a period at least 5 consecutive years during which the person (a) has not been convicted of a crime; (b) has not been unlawfully at large in relation to any crime; (c) has not been detained or subject to police supervision under S30 of the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act (Cap. 67); and (d) has not been subject to a supervision order or admitted to an approved institution under the Misuse of Drugs Act, or admitted to an approved centre at the Intoxicating Substances Act. If a person is imprisoned because he is unable to pay a fine, his crime-free period starts from the date which the sentence was passed and not the date of release from imprisonment. This is because imprisonment due to default of payment for the fine is not regarded as a “term of imprisonment” for the purpose of determining the date of the crime-free period.
Second, a person must not be disqualified from having his record spent on any of the grounds in S7C of the RCA, which are:
- If his conviction was for any offence specified in the Third Schedule, which are offences for which a criminal record cannot be spent. Offences under the Third Schedule include drug trafficking, rioting, culpable homicide, cause of grievous hurt, sexual offences, and outrage of modesty or gang-robbery.
- If the sentence imposed on him for that conviction included:
- A term of imprisonment more than 3 months; or
- A fine more than $2000
- If his conviction was for a crime committed within 5 years after he had been released from:
- An approved institution under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
- An approved centre under the Intoxicating Substances Act.
- If he has been detained or subject to a police supervision under S30 of the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act (Cap. 67) at any time before that conviction.
- If he has a warrant of arrest for any offence issued against him which remains unexecuted.
- If he has records in the register of more than one conviction, whether or not these convictions arise from the same particular occasion.
- If he has had any previous record in the register of any of his convictions become spent under S7B or treated as spent under S7D of the RCA.
However, even if a person is disqualified under S7C from having the record in the register of his conviction within Singapore for any crime becoming spent, he may still, at any time, apply to the Commissioner of Police to have the record treated as spent. This is provided for by S7D of the RCA.