In today's post we respond to an email received from one of our readers.
Our reader writes:
Dear TV Licensing Blog,
I am very, very worried about how being caught dodging the TV licence fee will impact on my future career plans.
I am a single mum with one young daughter. I am very fortunate to have a supportive family who live close by. Now my daughter is a little bit older, I plan on getting my career plans back on track by applying for a nursing degree course.
A TV Licensing goon visited my home at the start of February 2014. It was only one or two days into the month and renewing the TV licence, which had expired a few days earlier at the end of January, was the last thing on my mind due to personal circumstances (sick daughter, just out of hospital). Being stressed, I naively allowed him access to my home and he saw that my little one was watching CBeebies at the time. I told him I could ask my Dad to drive across and pay for the TV licence there and then, but he said it was too late because I'd been caught watching TV without a licence. I couldn't really dispute that, because for the few days since my last licence expired I had been.
At the start of June I received a summons to my local court for the offence of "using a COLOUR television receiver without a licence". Knowing I'd done wrong, I completed the form with a guilty plea. A month later I heard that I'd been fined £80, with £120 costs and £20 victim surcharge. I was able to pay the fine immediately, but I'm worried about now having a criminal record. That could seriously impact on my lifelong ambition to become a paediatric nurse. I wish I had found your website earlier, then I wouldn't be in the predicament I am.
Do you think the university will take a TV licence conviction seriously? Will my genuine oversight put a black mark against my name for the rest of my life? Thanks in advance for your advice.
TV Licensing Blog replies:
Thanks for getting in touch with the TV Licensing Blog.
In the situation you have described, it was a sensible decision to plead guilty.
As I am sure you are aware, nursing is one of those careers where you will need an Enhanced DBS Disclosure. Previous convictions are never deemed "spent" under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and must always be disclosed. The DBS will check your name against records held on the Police National Computer system and the barring lists held by the Departments for Education and Health. It is likely they would also ask your local police force for any other records it held about you.
Convictions for TV licence evasion are non-recordable, which means they will not be recorded anywhere other than the court's own system. Your conviction will not appear on the Police National Computer system, nor will your local police be made aware of it. That said, you should always be open about your conviction whenever you apply for any position relating to nursing. Universities and prospective employers will appreciate your honesty and are unlikely to view you in a negative light, particularly if you explain the circumstances as you have in your email to me.
I should stress that if you fail to declare your conviction and are subsequently found out, that could have very serious consequences on your nursing career.
If you require further information, please download our free ebook.
I wish you the very best of luck with your future career plans and thanks again for getting in touch.
If you have any questions you would like answered on the TV Licensing Blog, please email us with the words "Reader Letter" in the subject line. Our email address is in the sidebar. As mentioned on the About page, we can't guarantee to respond to every email but will try our best.