Can I make a criminal injury compensation claim if I have a criminal record?

If you have been the blameless victim of a violent attack, you may wish to claim compensation. If you have a criminal conviction, could this affect your claim? 

Read more: Criminal injury compensation claims - Step-by-step guide

Who manages the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme?

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme is managed by the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).

The CICA is a government run organisation who set the amount and eligibility criteria for compensation for innocent victims of violent crime or assault.

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What is a ‘spent’ criminal conviction?

A spent conviction means that sufficient time has passed that you are no longer legally obliged to declare the conviction.

This makes applications for insurance, jobs or renting a house more likely to be successful. This will also affect whether you can make a claim for criminal injuries compensation.

Your right to make a claim via the CICA will only be affected by your conviction if it is unspent, and the degree to which compensation is affected will depend on both how serious and how recent your conviction is.

Your compensation settlement may be reduced, or worst-case scenario your application refused.

On applying for criminal injuries compensation, everyone will usually be subject to a CRB and police records check.

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Eligibility criteria 

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The 'Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012' states that an award will not be given to anyone who, on the date of their application, has an unspent conviction for an offence that led to:

  • A sentence excluded from rehabilitation 
  • A custodial sentence 
  • A sentence of service detention 
  • Removal from Her Majesty’s service 
  • A community order
  • A youth rehabilitation order 
  • Any equivalent sentence to the above received in Northern Ireland or the EU. 

Less serious convictions whose consequences differ to the above may mean you can still make a claim, though it could result in a reduced settlement figure.

Driving convictions such as a fine or penalty points will not impact your application.

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How are reduced settlements calculated?

If you are awarded a reduced settlement, the amount it is reduced by will depend on the nature of your conviction.

Penalty points are given based on the severity of the crime, one point being the minimum penalty and ten points the maximum (this will mean your claim is rejected).

Each penalty point will reduce your compensation by 10%, so one point leads to a 10% reduction, two points 20% and so on all the way up to ten, which represents 100%.

It is worth noting that the penalty points system is a guide which is open to discretion depending on the facts of both the violent attack on the claimant and their own conviction.

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Also bear the following in mind…

If you receive a conviction after the date you apply for compensation but before your claim is settled, you must notify CICA as this could affect your claim.

If a decision is reached about your claim and you wish to contest it, you must write to CICA within 56 days of the date of the decision.

If you are unsure about how your circumstances may affect your claim, a criminal injuries solicitor can advise you.

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How can Quittance help?

Quittance is a panel of no win, no fee personal injury solicitors specialising in criminal injury claims.

Our solicitors have an excellent track record of winning claims and will fight for the best possible compensation settlement ahead of any court proceedings.

Read more: How does no win, no fee work?

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Starting a no win no fee claim

Starting a claim is a straightforward process.  A short, no obligation phone conversation with one of our solicitors will let you know where you stand and answer any questions you may have, including any concerts about unspent convictions..

If you decide that you would like to pursue a claim, the solicitor will send you an information pack.  The pack will contain everything you need to know including details of how no win no fee works.

To speak to us about your claim, without obligation, call 0800 612 7456.

Read more: Criminal injury compensation claims - Step-by-step guide

Gaynor Haliday, Legal researcher

About the author

Gaynor Haliday is an experienced legal researcher and published author. She has had numerous articles published in the press and is a legal industry commentator.

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