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Can You Claim Criminal Injuries Compensation If You Have A Criminal Record?

The simplest and quickest answer to this is yes, you can claim criminal injuries if you have a criminal record. However, anyone who does have a criminal record or convictions does need to know that there are conditions on and caveats to your eligibility and rights to make a compensation claim if you have previously been convicted of a criminal act.

Claiming compensation with criminal record

Claiming compensation with criminal record

In this guide we will look at the circumstances in which you can, or can not make a personal injury claim as the victim of a criminal injury, when you have a prior criminal record. We will also look at how you can make a claim if you are eligible to do so, and what impact (if any) the conviction will have on the amount of compensation awarded.

Please read our guide below to find out more about making a personal injury claim for the effects of a criminal injury. When you are ready, you can find details on how to contact us at the bottom of this guide, as well as further useful resources.

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A guide to claiming criminal injury compensation if you have a criminal record

Before we go any further in looking at whether or not you could still be eligible to make a no win no fee criminal injury claim with a criminal record, it will be helpful for us to look at what spent and unspent convictions are. This difference will be important later in the guide.

All convictions begin being classified as being ‘unspent’ convictions. Under terms set in the 1974 Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, spent convictions are those which can (for all intents and purposes) be ignored after a set time period. The amount of time it takes for a conviction to become spent will depend upon the sentence which was handed down to the offender, not the offence they were convicted for. The more severe the sentence and conviction received, the longer it will take for said conviction to become spent and the offender to be legally considered rehabilitated. A police caution is immediately considered spent. Conditional cautions become spent after a period of three months. If your conviction resulted in a custodial sentence of over four years, it is never considered as spent. The purpose of the 1974 Act is to facilitate rehabilitation of offenders by allowing them to get passed a conviction if they have remained on the right side of the law. For more information on when and how convictions become spent, you can view this guide to spent convictions from the police.

What is criminal injuries compensation?

You could be able to claim criminal injury compensation for being attacked if you have been injured or harmed as a result of any kind of criminal violence. Unlike other forms of compensation claims, the case will not be made against the person who caused the harm, but through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. This body is commonly abbreviated to the CICA. How much compensation you could be eligible to claim varies depending on the severity of your injuries and their effect upon you. According to changes made to the CICA scheme in 2012, people’s ability to make a claim will be determined according to a set of guidelines which must be met. You can details of where to find the Ministry of Justice guide to the 2012 CICA updates in the resources section at the bottom of this guide.

To find out whether you are eligible to claim compensation through the CICA, please contact our team today.

What is the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority?

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) is an executive agency which is part of the UK’s Ministry of Justice. The Authority is responsible for paying out compensation for being attacked to victims of criminal assaults. If you have been the victim of physical or mental harm caused by a violent crime the body will pay out compensation to you. We should note that the CICA operates in England & Wales as well as Scotland. If you need to make a claim for injuries from a criminal injury in Northern Ireland, you can find information on doing so here.

According to the bodies own website, in 2018 the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme will have handled as many as 40,000 cases and will have pay out as much as £200 million to those hurt in violent crimes.

How does having a criminal record affect claims through the CICA?

Changes to the CICA were introduced in November 2012 in relation to those with unspent convictions. The criteria in which someone can be considered eligible to claim compensation if they have a previous criminal conviction have become tighter. Those making a claim will be subject to checks for police records and CRB checks whilst the CICA assesses the claim. Those with a criminal record will need to disclose any relevant convictions immediately. If they do not do so, their right to make a claim will be prejudiced straight away.

These changes are in turn balanced against wider reforms which have been made to the legal system to assist those with criminal convictions to be rehabilitated. Under the 1974 Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, all convictions are subject to disclosure periods where these convictions are subject to a period where they can be considered relevant to things such as job applications or other instances. Beyond the period attached to the convictions length, the conviction is spent and no longer relevant to background checks.

These rehabilitation periods have been subject to significant reductions in the case of less serious convictions. This followed the introduction of the 2012 LASPO (Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment Act).

Am I eligible to make a compensation claim through the CICA?

As we have previously highlighted, there are criteria which you will need to meet in order to claim criminal injuries compensation if you have a criminal record. All claims made through the CICA are subject to the same eligibility criteria.

You could be eligible to claim compensation if:

  • You were the victim of a criminal injury and your injury would be eligible to compensation of £1,000 or more.
  • You were the victim of criminal violence in Great Britain (the UK excluding Ireland). The offender does not need to have been charged or convicted.
  • You must begin your case within a two year period of the incident occurring.

Cases are not eligible when:

  • When the criminal injury happened outside of Great Britain (England, Scotland, and Wales).
  • When you have already made a claim prior to 2008.

Applications could be refused compensation or be subject to reductions in settlements in cases:

    • Where your own criminal record is applicable.
    • Where you did not cooperate with the police.
    • Where you delayed informing the police of the incident.
    • Where your own behaviour came into play in the indecent.

To find out whether or not you are eligible under the current criteria, and to the answers to questions such as ‘how long does it take for criminal compensation to come through’ please call us today.

What do I need to know if I have a criminal record and need to make a criminal injuries compensation claim?

The first thing we would recommend you doing is to again read the article recommended earlier in our guide to spent and unspent convictions. If you still have questions about which category your conviction falls into, please contact our team. Under current rules if you are over the age of eighteen and have a conviction for an offence which resulted in one or more of the criteria below, it may be that you can not make a claim. However, again we do recommend you talk to us to confirm your eligibility.

Criteria for possible exclusion include:

  1. A custodial sentence which is excluded from rehabilitation.
  2. Sentences in custody which were longer than four years.
  3. You were sentenced to more than four years in custody by a Military Court.
  4. A sentence equivalent to any of those above which was received in Northern Ireland and any of the EU member states.

If you have a conviction which resulted in a sentence of less than four years you could still be able to make a claim as the victim of a criminal injury. However, if you have been subject to a conditional caution, a ban, a fine, or a similar form of punishment, your sentence may still affect your criminal injury claim.

In the bulk of cases, if the sentence received is unspent, the total amount of compensation available to claim through the CICA might be reduced. Convictions such as those related to speeding, such as a fine for speeding or otherwise having penalty points on your driving licence won’t be taken into account in your claim. Our personal injury claims calculator gives information on total amounts which could be claimed. The amount a claim could be reduced by will depend on your circumstances.

How much could a CICA settlement be reduced by if I have a criminal record?

If under the criteria by which claims are made to the CICA by those with a criminal record, your compensation settlement may be reduced, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority will apply penalties under a points based system. This is based in the results of a check against the claimants conviction. Your personal injury lawyer will review your case and what role will be played by your prior convictions will play in the case.

The points which can be applied as a penalty to the CICA’s personal injury claims calculator is on a 1 – 10 scale. Compensation settlements will be reduced by a certain percentage. A penalty of one point could reduce your award by 10%, two points would reduce it by 15%. If ten penalty points are incurred, the claim will usually be rejected as no compensation would be awarded in the case.

I have an unspent conviction, can I claim criminal injuries compensation?

Whilst in the past it was quite likely that those with an unspent conviction would still be able to make a claim, with compensation awarded at a reduced rate, today that is mostly not the case. Under current legislation, the CICA is unlikely to award any form of damages to a claimant who still has a conviction which is unspent. This is the case if the conviction resulted in a custodial sentence or orders for probation, community, or youth rehabilitation. In most cases, a conviction will have an attached period of rehabilitation, meaning that they stay unspent during this time. For instance, community orders may have a one year period for rehabilitation after. This will delay you from being able to make a claim.

To find out if you are able to make a criminal injury claim with your criminal record, please consult our team for advice specific to you.

Unspent convictions, CICA claims and human rights

With there being restrictions on whether those with unspent convictions and criminal records and make claims for compensation after a criminal injury, the position of the CICA in relation to victims human rights has been challenged. It has been pointed out by lawyers and solicitors that some cases such as where a victim of sexual abuse his not able to make a claim due to having previous conviction(s) which are linked to the abuse may suffer additional psychological harm. Other cases where people have been denied compensation include that where a victim was not able to make a claim due to having a conviction for a minor offence, and those instances where the claimants conviction become spent when the claim is being made.

There have been a number of appeals to the tribunal of the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority on the basis that being prevented from making a claim due to prior convictions is unfair. It was highlighted that it can be especially unfair if the nature of the conviction has no bearing on the circumstances in which they were injured. It has been suggested that the blanket bans applied by the CICA could be in breach of peoples human rights as defined under the ECHR. This is a situation which continues to develop.

How much could you be awarded in compensation for a criminal injury?

How much you could be awarded will depend on a variety of factors. When viewing our personal injury claims calculator, you should keep in mind that no two cases are identical and the amount of compensation you could be entitled to may be different to someone else. What you are awarded by the CICA will account for the harm caused to you, how the injury has affected your day to day life, and what effect the injury is likely to have in the future.

These effects are then checked against the current guidelines (most recently the CICA tariff of injuries for 2018). As such, we can not guarantee how much your claim may be, not least because we would need an assessment of your injury before estimating what you may be entitled to.

However, we have included the table below in order to highlight some common injuries resulting from a criminal assault (or other cause), and common amounts of compensation they may attract. For more information on what you could be entitled to claim, please contact us today.

Harm suffered Compensation band Injury notes
Less severe psychological damage £1,170 – £4,450 This type of compensation takes into account the initial or early psychological harm (such as trauma) you have suffered. It might compensate you for loss of sleep and look at how you are coping with your life in general.
Moderate psychological damage £4,450 – £14,500 This is more serious than the previous category. The victim will see an effect in their ability to go about their daily life. There is generally a good future prognosis for claimants recovery.
Moderately severe psychological damage £14,500 – £41,675 Whilst this is similar to the above category, the overall and future prognosis will be less optimistic. At the time of the case being conducted there may still not be any improvement in the claimant’s condition.
Severe psychological damage £41,675 – £88,000 Severe damage or harm will (in many cases) have a poor prognosis for future recovery.
Mental anguish £3,550 Mental anguish might include the fear or expectation of death and the person suffering the end of their life. It might include compensation for the threat of extreme harm in cases of sexual abuse where victims are often threatened with speaking out.
Pain and suffering £1,000 – £200,000 How much you are awarded is calculated based upon what claimants have experienced. The more serious the harm sustained, the higher the settlement for this may be.
Loss of anticipated earnings £10,000 – £400,000 Anticipated loss of earnings looks at how much you are estimated to lose in terms of salary or wages due to your injuries and compensate you for this. In some cases, your settlement may exceed the upper limit.
Loss of benefits £5,000 – £500,000 This compensates you for income and benefits already lost due to your injury. As with the category above, you may be able to claim a higher level of compensation.
Sexual assault resulting in an STD or STI £5,500 – £22,000 Settlements in this banding do not cover more serious or life long medical conditions acquired as a result of the assault such as Aids or HIV.

No win no fee claims for criminal injury compensation when you have a conviction

If you have been the victim of a crime and have a previous criminal record you could still be able to claim compensation. For all victims of crime, even those with criminal records, we believe that you should not have to pay any legal costs unless you have been awarded a settlement. We also believe that in order to be awarded all of the compensation you could be entitled to you will need the assistance of a personal injury solicitor to do so.

This is why we offer almost every claimant we work with the option to use our services through a no win no fee agreement. If we are not able to help you make a claim, you won’t have anything to pay. No win no fee claims really can be that simple.

By making a claim through a no win no fee agreement you will know that we take the chances of your winning the claim seriously. Without winning your claim, we will not get paid. From the first assessment of your case, to the end of your claim, we will always be transparent over what is happening with your claim.

To find out more about how our no win no fee services can help those who need to make a criminal injury compensation claim when you already have a criminal record, please get in touch with our team today.

Why make a criminal injury claim with our team?

Whilst you can claim criminal injuries if you have a criminal record, and whilst it may be possible to do so without using a personal injury lawyer; the process of making any type of claim after a criminal injury, especially if you have a previous conviction can be difficult. As such it is always recommended that to make a successful compensation claim you should do so through a solicitor. Working with a personal injury solicitor can be difference between making a successful claim, and getting the maximum settlement possible, and not doing so. We will deal with the CICA and the process of establishing your eligibility to make a claim. We will also work hard to secure you the maximum possible settlement.

Our team have many years of experience in helping people to make successful criminal injury claims, even when the claimant has a prior criminal record. We understand the best ways to navigate the law and can provide you with the best possible and most current advice. You can read reviews written by people we have helped in the past here.

We will make sure that you are kept up to date with your claims progress at every step and we promise to put your interests first. We have developed our no win no fee service as just one part of our customer centric approach. By making such a claim with our team you will never be left out of pocket.

Speak to our team today

If after reading our guide you are ready to claim criminal injuries compensation if you have a criminal record, our personal injury solicitors are on hand to help you to do so. We have shown through this guide the factors which will affect your eligibility to claim criminal injuries if you have a criminal record. We have also shown examples of the effect making a claim with a record can have, how the amount of compensation you would be awarded may vary, and how we can help you. Again please do note that if you have an unspent conviction, the total amount of compensation awarded to you may either be reduced, or could preclude you from making a claim entirely.

At Legal Expert we can help you to claim criminal injuries compensation if you have a criminal record. To find out how our team can assist you, please call us on 0800 073 8804 today. You can also send us an email with the outline of your claim to

We are ready to start helping you today.

Useful Links

Below we have included some of our other guides, as well as trusted external sources, which are relevant to those who need to make a claim either as a person with a criminal record, or as someone who has suffered a criminal injury.

Criminal injury claims
This is our main guide to making a compensation claim if you have been the victim of a criminal injury where you can find further information on making this form of claim.

Different types of criminal injury
On this page you can view the different types of criminal injury compensation claim guides, covering claims our personal injury solicitors can help you to make.

Calculate your claim through the CICA
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority is the body through which personal injury claims for a criminal injury are made. In this we also include information on how to find the CICA tariff of injuries for 2018.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority
Find out the criminal injuries compensation scheme 2018 tariffs at the CICA’s main website.

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012
This PDF guide produced by the Ministry of Justice contains all the relevant details of the updates made to the CICA in 2012.

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.