245 criminal records expunged for April–June
The Ministry of Justice has recorded 245 persons who have had their criminal records expunged for the period of April to June this year, with a total of 570 records expunged so far since 2017.
The expungement process, done under the Criminal Records (Rehabilitation of Offenders) Act 1988, has seen a steady flow of applications from persons looking to have their criminal records cleared.
The expungement process helps individuals who committed minor offences and who have sincerely and successfully attempted to abide by the law to reintegrate into society. Having convictions removed from their records can increase an individual's earning capacity, as employment in certain industries such as education, tourism, security and transportation require a copy of a clean police record for their employees. The process is also beneficial for persons interested in migrating or working overseas.
Under the act, certain minor offences such as simple larceny, malicious destruction of property, possession or dealing in ganja, bribery and forging of documents, among others can be cleared from a person's record after a specified period of rehabilitation.
The rehabilitation period is the time a person must wait before their application can be considered for expungement. An amendment to the act in 2014, reduced the rehabilitation period from between five and 20 years from the date of the termination of imprisonment or the payment of a fine, to between three and 10 years based, on the seriousness of the offence and the sentence imposed. For individuals under the age of 18 years old, the rehabilitation period is half the time applicable to adults.
To have a record expunged, interested persons must make an application in writing by visiting the customer service section of the ministry to collect the application form or by downloading the application form from the Ministry of Justice's website.
The applicant should complete two copies of the application form and submit them along with two letters of recommendation, fingerprint impressions and the payment of $3,000 for the expungement service (this can also be done at any tax office islandwide) to the customer service desk at the justice ministry.