Can a personal licence be suspended or revoked ?

A personal licence can be suspended for up to six months or it can be revoked.

Although suspension of a personal licence for up to six months does not at first glance appear a very harsh punishment it means that if someone is relying on their personal licence for a living such as a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) then their job is lost because another DPS must be appointed who has an unsuspended personal licence.

If the licence is revoked then a new personal licence must be applied for at the relevant time.

Forfeiture or suspension of a personal licence

A court can order that a personal licence be forfeited (cancelled) or suspended (for a maximum of six months) if the holder of a personal licence is convicted of a relevant offence in England or Wales or is convicted of a similar type of offence outside England or Wales. Relevant offices are described in Schedule 4 of the Licensing Act 2003 and The Licensing Act 2003 (Personal licence: relevant offences) (Amendment) Order 2005.

The offences include:

* those involving serious crime

* those involving serious dishonesty

* those involving controlled drugs

* certain sexual offences

* offences created by the Act

Although the maximum suspension of a personal licence is only six months, in fact, this means that if you are relying on your personal licence for your job i.e. you are the Designated Premises Supervisor then you have lost your job for six months and perhaps permanently.

Some relevant offences can be “spent”. This means that after a certain time they no longer count as a criminal record. Here are some examples:

Fines 5 years Nearly all community service penalties – Can be “spent” after 5 years

Six months in prison or less –  Can be “spent” after7 years

Six months to two and a half years in prison – Can be “spent” after 10 years

More than two and a half years in prison – Cannot be “spent”

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