I Have A Criminal Record, Am I Still Eligible To Claim Criminal Injuries Compensation?

Criminal injury claim with criminal record guide

Criminal injury claim with criminal record guide

Criminal assault is traumatic for anybody and the effects can be lasting and life-changing. Recovering from the impact can take months or even years, and sometimes it can be expensive. You shouldn’t have to put your recovery on hold, and you don’t have to.

Victims of a criminal injury may be entitled to claim compensation. However, in some circumstances individuals with a criminal record could have their rights to claim compensation for criminal injuries revoked. If you have a criminal record and you have concerns about your right to claim for criminal injuries compensation, you could find the information in this guide useful.

We’ll talk you through the process of claiming compensation for criminal injuries and how having a criminal record might affect your rights. The important thing to remember is that a criminal record does not automatically disqualify you from claiming compensation. You may still be entitled to claim, and you could do so through our solicitors on a No Win No Fee basis.

As well as reading through this page, you can also access free advice from our team of claims specialists at office@accidentclaims.co.uk or 0800 073 8801.

Select A Section

  1. A Guide To Criminal Injury Claims If You Have A Criminal Record
  2. What Is Compensation For A Criminal Injury?
  3. Who Does The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority Compensate?
  4. How Do Criminal Records Affect Claims Made To The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority?
  5. Could I Make A Criminal Injury Claim With An Unspent Conviction?
  6. Check If You Are Eligible To Make A Criminal Injury Claim
  7. Steps To Take To Claim For A Criminal Injury With A Criminal Record
  8. Does Having A Criminal Record Reduce How Much Compensation I Could Claim?
  9. Criminal Injury Compensation Calculator For Victims With Criminal Records
  10. No Win No Fee Compensation For Criminal Injuries With A Criminal Record
  11. How We Could Help Victims Of Criminal Injuries Who Have Criminal Records
  12. Start Your Criminal Injuries Claim Today
  13. Essential References

A Guide To Criminal Injury Claims If You Have A Criminal Record

This guide explains how people who have suffered an injury in a criminal attack can seek compensation from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA). However, not everyone will have the same legal rights when it comes to claiming criminal injury compensation. In some cases, having a record of criminal convictions can impact a person’s right to claim. The key point of this guide is to explain where and how your rights to claim compensation from the CICA could be affected if you have a criminal record.

We will explain how to check if your criminal record could affect your right to claim as well as how to manage the process of claiming compensation when you have a criminal record. This guide may also give you useful information about what kind of compensation you might be eligible to receive if you are able to claim. If you are concerned about whether or not you could be prevented from making a legal claim by prohibitive legal costs, or if you’re concerned about the effect that a failed claim might have on your finances, you may be relieved to hear about the potential benefits of making a No Win No Fee  claim through our solicitors.

For further information on how criminal injury compensation claims work click here.

What Is Compensation For A Criminal Injury?

When someone is assaulted and suffers an injury as a result, they could have the right to claim compensation. The money they receive aims to cover the physical, mental and financial impact that the event may have had. In this regard, a criminal injury compensation claim is similar to other kinds of personal injury claims which people can make when suffering injuries in accidents. What makes criminal injury claims different from personal injury claims is that unlike personal injury claims, where the claim is made against a negligent third-party, such as an employer, business or local authority, criminal injury claims are made through the Criminal Injury Compensation Authority (CICA), an agency supported by the Ministry of Justice. Unlike in personal injury claims where the third party pays compensation, the CICA itself makes the award.

Another difference between criminal injury claims and personal injury claims is that there is a different time limit in making a claim. The criminal injury claim time limit is just two years, though it can be longer in cases of for historical or childhood sexual abuse or rape.

Who Does The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority Compensate?

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority is responsible for handling claims for criminal injury compensation and implementing the government’s criminal injuries compensation scheme. When a crime victim makes a claim to the CICA, it assesses their case to see whether or not their claim is valid. If it is, they will determine the level of compensation to be awarded.                     .

CICA awards compensation to people who have suffered physical injuries (of a certain severity) or psychological trauma as a result of being the victim of a crime, or as a result of trying to prevent a crime. People can also claim if a loved one or a close relative has died or has been seriously injured by a violent crime. In some circumstances, the CICA may award compensation covering the financial effects of a crime, for example, funeral expenses. People affected by injuries or bereavements sustained in terrorist attacks are also eligible to claim from the CICA.

For information about how criminal injury operates in Northern Ireland click here.

How Do Criminal Records Affect Claims Made To The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority?

The big question on your mind right now is probably “can you claim criminal injuries if you have a criminal record?” The answer is yes, but not in all cases. Following reforms introduced by the government in 2012, the regulations defining when people with criminal convictions are entitled to claim compensation became stricter. If you have a criminal conviction you must disclose it to the CICA when you begin the claim. If you don’t, the authorities may find out anyway by performing a DBS check (formerly CRB check) and a check of your police record. Attempting to conceal a criminal record could severely prejudice your case and could lead to prosecution.

However, not all criminal convictions are considered relevant to a CICA claim. Under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, there is a disclosure period following some convictions. Once this disclosure period has passed, the conviction is “spent” and no longer legally required to be considered in things such as CICA claims or job applications. The length of this disclosure period may vary depending on the conviction in question. Less serious convictions may last only a few years, whereas more serious convictions might remain forever.

When the CICA assesses claims for criminal injury compensation, they may reduce the amount of compensation they award through a points-based deduction system. The points system is a simple 1-10 scoring measure. The greater the severity of the conviction in question the higher the score, so 1 point might be awarded for the least severe criminal records, 10 points might be awarded to the most severe. The higher the point score, the greater the reduction in compensation. 10 points could likely see no compensation awarded at all.

If you aren’t sure whether or not your conviction could count as spent, feel free to call our team for advice, or continue to the section “Check If You Are Eligible To Make A Criminal Injury Claim”, below.

Could I Make A Criminal Injury Claim With An Unspent Conviction?

Until the government changed the rules in 2012, those with unspent criminal convictions could still claim and receive criminal injury compensation, albeit at a reduced rate. Now, however, it may be unlikely that a claimant with a criminal conviction would be awarded compensation unless their convictions disclosure period had expired. Convictions resulting in custodial sentences, community service, and probation or youth rehabilitation may be likely to have a disclosure period.

The disclosure period may or may not stop you from making a claim. If your conviction resulted in a lesser sentence such as probation or a community order, the disclosure period may be short enough for you to wait until it expires and then begin your claim. Unfortunately, you may find that the time limit for making a claim expires before the convictions disclosure period does. You may call our team for advice if you are unsure how long your convictions disclosure period might last.

Check If You Are Eligible To Make A Criminal Injury Claim

If you aren’t sure about the status of your criminal record, you can request access to your police record from the Criminal Records Office. This service is free and your request may be handled within a month. Our team could also be able to advise you as to whether you may be eligible if you describe your circumstances and your criminal record to them.

In addition to the conditions of your criminal record, there may be other factors which would exclude you from making a claim:

  • If you did not inform the police of the incident within 48 hours
  • If you did not co-operate with the police investigation
  • If the incident occurred outside the UK
  • If your behaviour was partly or wholly the cause of the incident (i.e. if you started a fight)

Steps To Take To Claim For A Criminal Injury With A Criminal Record

Before doing anything we recommend speaking to a solicitor. They’ll know everything you need to know about making a criminal injury claim while  Remember, the CICA does not allow people to re-attempt claims that have been rejected. You only have one shot.

If you do begin a claim, it may be advisable to disclose all criminal convictions you may have clearly and accurately as soon as you are prompted. Failing to mention convictions or lying about them could result in action being taken against you. Your police and criminal records will be available to the CICA and they may be checked as part of the assessment of your claim. If you are found to have failed to disclose your criminal convictions, (and you could be found out) it may immediately prejudice the assessment of your case against you.

Does Having A Criminal Record Reduce How Much Compensation I Could Claim?

The CICA may apply penalty reductions to the compensation you are awarded if you have criminal convictions. These penalty reductions operate on a points system based on a 1-10 rating. The more severe the offence the higher the rating. Having one point – the lowest score you could receive for the most minor of offences, could reduce your compensation by 10%. Two points will take away 20% and so on. The most serious convictions score ten points and could effectively deny you any compensation whatsoever.

Criminal Injury Compensation Calculator For Victims With Criminal Records

Compensation for harm caused by criminal injury may be calculated and awarded on a case by case basis depending on the severity of the harm caused to the victim. Every case is different and as such, it may not be realistic to offer you an assessment at this point of how much compensation you could be entitled to receive.

That said, by looking through the guidelines of compensation calculations laid out in this table, you may be able to get an idea of how much your injury could be worth. The general damages component of a criminal injury compensation claim may be calculated based on how much the victim is made to suffer, how long-lasting the effects of the injury are, whether or not there are any permanent effects or disabilities caused by the injury, the degree of disfigurement, and the extent of any lasting psychological harm.

InjuryNotesCompensation
PTSD (a) severePermanent symptoms preventing the victim from ever functioning at the level they did prior to the trauma.£51,070-£94,470
PTSD (b) moderately severeSome recovery possible with professional help but with symptoms causing significant disability.£19,750-£56,180
PTSD (c) moderate Mostly recovered with any persisting symptoms not causing significant disability.£6,980-£21,730
PTSD (d) less severeNear full recovery within two years with only minor symptoms persisting.£3,370-£7,680
Scarring (severe)Multiple scars or a single noticeable scar causing significant disfigurement.
Scarring (minor)Multiple scars or a single large scar causing minor disfigurement.
Minor injuries (a)Injuries which fully heal within one weekA few hundred pounds-£650
Minor injuries (b)Injuries which fully heal within 28 days£590-£1,290
Minor injuries (c)Injuries which fully heal within three months£1,170-£2,300

Note that the figures in this table may not represent the full amount that a claimant could receive as these guidelines are only for the physical effects of the injury. In addition to the physical impact, the financial effects are also factored in. Lost earnings from time taken off work, the costs of any treatment, counselling, medication or physiotherapy which you may require as a consequence of the injury may also be recovered as well via a special damages component.

No Win No Fee Compensation For Criminal Injuries With A Criminal Record

If you decided to proceed with a claim, your solicitor will offer you the chance to enter into a No Win No Fee Agreement. This means that if your claim is unsuccessful you will not have to pay any of your solicitor’s costs. In the event that your claim is successful, your solicitor will deduct from your compensation a “success fee”.

The benefits of a no win no fee agreement are chiefly that you may not be asked for money upfront and you may not be asked to pay money out of your own pocket towards your solicitor’s fees, but rather out of a compensation amount that you could be awarded if you claim successfully.

How We Could Help Victims Of Criminal Injuries Who Have Criminal Records

Going through the legal process may be stressful and complicated, especially while you might still be dealing with the physical and mental effects of being violently attacked. You might want to work with a legal team who are well-qualified, experienced and ready to offer the support you need. That’s what our team of advisers and solicitors aim to do. The solicitors at Accident Claims UK have over thirty years’ experience in handling these matters, so you can rest assured they have what it takes to help you claim your compensation.

Our expert services are offered without charging you any major upfront costs. Our team’s advice is free, and a claim you make through our solicitors may be made on a No Win No Fee basis, meaning you may not have to pay a penny if you make a valid compensation claim.

Start Your Criminal Injuries Claim Today

If you need to know anything else about making a criminal injuries compensation claim while having a criminal record, or if you want to start making a claim, your first step is to talk to our team. You can arrange a time for us to give you a phone call by filling in your details here. Or you can ring us directly on 0800 073 8801. You can also reach us at office@accidentclaims.co.uk.  Remember, our advice is free and you won’t be pressured into making up your mind. So give us a call. You have nothing to lose!

Essential References

CICA claims guide

2012 Criminal injuries compensation scheme amendments

Article by JY

Editor HW/RBG