Claiming Criminal Injuries Compensation With A Criminal Record

By Meg Stein. Last updated 19th January 2022. If you’re interested in claiming criminal injuries compensation with a criminal record after suffering an injury in a violent crime, our guide could help. You might assume that because you have a criminal record, the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA) would not pay you any compensation. However, this may not always be the case.

claiming criminal injuries compensation with a criminal record

In some instances, you could claim compensation if you have a criminal record and experienced harm in a violent crime. We have created this guide to explore this subject in more detail.

In the sections below, we explain how the CICA handle such claims, as well as answer common questions relating to criminal injury claims.

What Is The CICA?

The CICA is the abbreviation for the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. This is an executive agency and is funded by the UK’s Ministry Of Justice. It deals with compensation claims from those who suffer physical or mental injuries due to violent crimes in Scotland, England and Wales.

They provide compensation for victims of violent crimes under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012.

You could also claim compensation from the CICA in cases where you were injured trying to stop violent crime, or where you witnessed the injury of another person due to violent crime.

Get In Touch With Our Team

Claiming compensation from the CICA is something not everyone has experience with. For some, the process might seem complex and daunting. This could be particularly the case if they’re claiming criminal injuries compensation with a criminal record.

Here at UK Law, we have the knowledge and experience to be able to advise you on such claims. We could answer any questions you might have as well as assess whether you could be eligible for compensation.

In addition to this, we could connect you with a personal injury lawyer from our panel to assist you with your claim. If you’re interested in getting some help, do not hesitate to contact our team on:

Services And Information

Everything You Need To Know About Claiming Criminal Injuries Compensation With A Criminal Record

If you are considering making a CICA claim, you may have been injured due to a violent crime being committed against you. This could include common assault injuries like a broken jaw, injuries associated with rape or sexual abuse, or even injuries resulting from actual bodily harm (ABH) and grievous bodily harm (GBH).

While you might have a previous conviction, you may still be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority. But making such claims could be a little complicated, so you may prefer to have a personal injury solicitor help you with your claim.

We have created this guide to provide you with important information you may need to be aware of before you make such a claim. In the sections below, we offer insight into how much compensation you could receive and whether it would be reduced because of your conviction.

We also discuss the importance of claiming at the right time, and the difference between unspent and spent convictions. Further to this, we give you useful tips on how to maximise your chances of a successful claim and show you how a personal injury solicitor from our panel could help you.

What Is A Criminal Injury Claim With A Criminal Record?

Unfortunately, people in the UK suffer injuries due to violent criminal acts every year. According to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme Review 2020, a detailed analysis was made of around 75,000 claims received by the CICA between 2016 and 2019.

The graph below highlights that of these 75,000 claims, the most common were made for an assault with or without a weapon.

You can see the breakdown of the other injury types in the chart below.

claiming criminal injuries compensation with a criminal record

Who Could Claim?

People who sustain injuries as a victim of violent crime could do so if they aren’t to blame for the incident. But what if you’ve been found guilty of committing an offence?

While this could make the matter more complex, and not everyone with a criminal record would be eligible for criminal injuries compensation, in some cases, those with a record could still claim. This could be because their conviction could be classed as spent.

In some cases, this means they could still claim, but they might see a reduction in the compensation they receive as a result of their criminal record.

However, generally, the CICA could compensate injured victims of violent crime if they are:

  • A direct victim of a violent crime, such as a stabbing, acid attack, assault, sexual assault or rape, for example.
  • Someone who sustains an injury while taking a justified and exceptional risk while trying to stop a crime.
  • Someone who has witnessed or been present in the immediate aftermath of a loved one who experienced a violent crime.
  • A bereaved relative of someone who suffers a fatal injury by a violent crime.

Why Are Criminal Records Relevant To CICA Claims?

Changes were made to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme in 2012. Some of these changes tightened up the criteria for the CICA to pay out on claims made by those with unspent criminal convictions.

No matter whether the claimant was completely blameless for the incident in which they suffered injuries, the government’s policy is not to allow those convicted of criminal offences to benefit from a scheme that is publicly funded.

However, a criminal record should not necessarily deter everyone who wants to claim criminal injuries compensation with a criminal record.

For claims made in England and Wales, the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 will be applied. LASPO amends the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (ROA).

For claims made in Scotland, the CICA will apply current rehabilitation periods set out in the ROA.

However, it could be wise to keep in mind that some convictions, such as lengthy prison sentences, cannot be spent.

Getting Advice

We would strongly advise anyone considering making a claim when they have a conviction for an offence to seek legal advice. Sometimes, the timing of a claim could make a difference as to whether your claim is successful or not.

If you’d like to speak to us about claiming criminal injuries compensation with a criminal record, we would be happy to help. If we assess your claim and believe you could have a strong case, we could connect you with our panel of solicitors. They could assist with your claim.

Will I Have To Tell My Solicitor And The CICA About My Conviction?

There are different types of conviction and the status of it could have some bearing on how successful your claim is, as per the below:

  • A spent conviction has reached a period defined by the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974, whereupon they are removed from the offender’s criminal record.
  • An unspent conviction is one that has not reached this period. It would appear if someone conducted a basic criminal check on a person.

Do I Have To Declare Everything?

It is more beneficial to be honest when declaring convictions. As part of your claim, during the initial stages, the CICA would complete a PNC (Police National Computer) and DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check. If you fail to declare something that shows up on these checks, this would affect your right to claim.

I Have An Unspent Conviction, Could I Still Claim?

The CICA could reduce your compensation payout or refuse your claim if you have any unspent criminal convictions. Under the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme, the definition of a conviction and whether it is spent is as per the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975.

The CICA would not make a payment in cases where claimants have an unspent conviction for certain offences. Nor would they pay if the claimant has been convicted of these offences before the CICA makes its final decision on the claim. The offences which could lead to a refusal include those resulting in:

  • Sentence of service detentions
  • Custodial sentences
  • Sentences that are excluded from rehabilitation

If you’re unsure as to whether you could begin claiming criminal injuries compensation with a criminal record because you’re unsure whether your conviction is spent, please call us. We would be able to talk to you about your case and give you guidance on this.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Calculator

The Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012 sets out tariffs for injuries that could result from violent crime. We have created the table below to give you some insight into what the CICA could deem appropriate compensation for a variety of injuries.

You would need, however, to submit medical evidence as part of your claim to ensure you could support your compensation claim for your injuries.

Injury type CICA Tariff Amount Notes
Burns £33,000 Covering 25%+ of the body’s skin, in multiple areas and with significant scarring.
Mental injury £13,500 Lasting for 5+ years but not permanent.
Head scarring £3,500 Serious disfigurement
Minor head injury £6,200 Minimal brain injury with permanent effects such as headaches.
Total deafness (one ear) £16,500 Permanent.
Jaw bone fracture £6,200 Operation required but continuing disability
Chest injury £6,200 Requiring thoracotomy

In addition to this, you could claim for:

  • Loss of earnings – if you have limited capacity or no capacity to be able to work – this must be directly caused by a criminal injury. You must provide evidence such as payslips or a P60.
  • Special expenses – certain costs that you could incur as a direct result of criminal injury. You could only claim these if you’re incapacitated or unable to work for over 28 weeks. You must be able to prove that the services or goods were not available free of charge elsewhere.
  • Fatalities resulting from violent crime – this could include bereavement payouts, those for loss of a parental service, those relating to financial dependency and funeral costs. However, you must be a qualifying relative to be eligible for these payments.

There are restrictions as to what you could claim for. If you’d like further advice on this, please don’t hesitate to call our knowledgeable team.

Does Having A Criminal Record Reduce Your Compensation Payout?

In some cases, where you have not been convicted of a criminal offence that results in a sentence of service detention, a custodial sentence or one that is excluded from rehabilitation, the CICA would still take your unspent conviction into account when processing your claim.

Unless there are exceptional reasons for the CICA not to reduce your payout, they would reduce it in accordance with your unspent convictions. The CICA calculates the reduction based on a penalty point system.

The more serious and recent the conviction, the more penalty points your case will receive. Each penalty point represents a 10% reduction in what would have been paid out if you did not have a conviction. For example, if you receive 1 penalty point there will be a 10% reduction, and if you receive 2 penalty points there will be a 20% reduction and so on.

Top Tips For Claiming Criminal Injuries Compensation With A Criminal Record

While claiming criminal injuries compensation with a criminal record could be complex, it is not always impossible. The below tips could help maximise your chances of receiving compensation:

  • Know what’s on your record before you claim. There is an online free service called ACRO that could give you this information.
  • Knowing when your penalty expires could be crucial. Making a claim while your conviction is still unspent could result in an instant refusal. And you may have very little chance of appeal.
  • Time your claim according to your circumstances – you usually have a window of 2 years to make criminal injury claims. Claiming as quickly as possible could help in some cases. But, if it means you making a claim while you have unspent convictions, then it may be better to wait.

Finally, we would strongly urge you to seek professional legal advice if you find yourself in this situation.

A solicitor could help you understand the impact your criminal record may have on your claim and help you complete each stage of the criminal injuries claim application correctly. Also, your solicitor should be able to advise you on whether you could claim after the 2-year window.

If you would like to discuss working with a personal injury lawyer from our panel to help you make your criminal injury claim, get in touch. Our advisors would be glad to answer your questions and check your eligibility.

Criminal Injury Claim Time Limits

The usual time limit within which you could make a criminal injury claim is 2 years from the date of the incident. However, in some cases, this could differ. Often, though, the two-year time limit is only extended due to exceptional circumstances.

However, there are still exceptions that could make it possible to make a claim outside of the 2-year time limit for incidents of violent criminal activity. For example:

  • Children who suffer injuries – A parent could claim on the victim’s behalf if the child is under 18. However, if no one claims for that child by the time they turn 18, the child could have up until they turn 20 to claim.
  • Cases relating to historic abuse could be an exception to the above, as the person may not have reported them until some time later. In such cases, the person could have up to two years from the date they reported the abuse to the police.
  • Those under the same roof rule – This rule prevented people living with their assailant as a family member from being awarded compensation for incidents that occurred between August 1964 and September 1979.

If you were living with your assailant when you suffered criminal injuries, and you were ineligible to claim under the now-removed same roof rule, you could apply for compensation. The deadline to claim under the removal of the same roof rule passed on 13th June 2021.

However, in some circumstances, you could ask for the CICA to consider your case. The CICA has the discretion to consider such claims.

For more information on criminal injuries compensation eligibility, please get in touch with our team. An advisor will be happy to help answer any questions you may have.

I Suffered A Criminal Injury, What Should I Do?

If you suffer a criminal injury, whether you have a criminal record or not, there are several steps you could take. We would advise you, wherever possible to:

  • Seek medical attention for your injuries – this would ensure there is a record of you sustaining injuries. It also means you could get appropriate advice and treatment.
  • Take photographs – photographic evidence could be useful to your claim. You could take photographs of the scene and your injuries.
  • Keep an injury diary – You could write down how your injuries have affected you. Recording how long your recovery takes could also be useful.
  • Obtain witness information – if there are witnesses, it could be a good idea to note down their contact details.
  • Get legal advice – getting legal advice about claiming criminal injuries compensation with a criminal record could benefit your claim. However, please be aware that not all UK law firms and UK lawyers will give advice for free.

If you’d like us to give you free advice on your claim, we would be happy to do so. We could assess your case without charge, and without obligation to use our service.

Furthermore, if you’d like us to, we could appoint a personal injury solicitor from our panel to work on your claim. They could help you claim on a No Win No Fee basis, which means you would not need to pay upfront fees for a solicitor to start work on your case.

Claim For A Criminal Injury On A No Win No Fee Basis

If you’re not sure how No Win No Fee claims work, we provide a brief explanation below. Please note, our panel of solicitors work under these terms.

  • Your solicitor would give you a No Win No Fee Agreement. You’d need to sign this before they could take on your claim. This document outlines the success fee which you would pay to your solicitor from your compensation settlement if your claim is successful. It is deducted as a small percentage of your total payout and is capped by law.
  • When you have signed and returned the agreement to your lawyer, they would be able to work on your case.
  • Once your CICA claim payout comes through, they’ll deduct the aforementioned success fee.
  • If your claim were to fail, and there was no payout, you would not pay the success fee nor would you be asked to pay solicitor fees.

If you have questions about claiming on this basis, why not get in touch? Simply use the details below to speak with an advisor:

Other Information

Please see our guide on the steps you can take to make a CICA claim following sexual abuse by a family member.

Our criminal injuries compensation calculator guide could help you understand how your settlement may be calculated.

Visit our guide if you’re wondering ‘how long will my criminal injury take?’.

You can find out how to report a crime here.

The NHS has produced guidance on getting help if you’re a victim of domestic violence or abuse.

Visit the Criminal Injuries Compensation Guide on the government website.

Guide by SJ

Edited by BER

Thanks for reading our guide on claiming criminal injuries compensation with a criminal record.