How to apply for an expungement – video
From: Parole Board of Canada
Transcript: How to Apply for an Expungement
(The video opens with a beauty shot of the Parliament Buildings. The image goes slightly out of focus as the video’s graphic title appears: How to Apply for an Expungement).
(Image changes to see Robert, sipping on a coffee as he sits down at a table in his home office. The narrator starts talking as Robert places his coffee cup in front of a picture of a young man).
Narrator: When an expungement of judicial records pertaining to a conviction is ordered…the person convicted of that offence is deemed never to have committed the offence.
(Robert opens his laptop. An over-the-shoulder shot of Robert’s laptop screen is displayed with the Expungement Menu web page).
Narrator: Under the Expungement of Historically Unjust Convictions Act…the Parole Board of Canada is responsible for making decisions to order an expungement of a conviction.
Narrator: There is no fee to apply for an expungement.
(Robert leans in to take a closer look at the information on the screen).
Narrator: If you are applying on behalf of someone else, such as a deceased relative, the legislation allows for an appropriate representative, such as a family member, to apply on their behalf.
(A view of the laptop’s screen shows the cursor pass over the “Application for an Expungement Most Requested” box).
Narrator: To help you put together your application, consult the Expungement Application Guide.
(The computer cursor engages the Engagement Application. The Guide cover page appears. Focus is put on the heading itself: “Application Steps: Overview”).
Narrator: The Expungement Application Guide can be viewed online, is downloadable and easy to follow.
(Robert puts on his glasses. The screen changes to show the Application Steps: Overview page of the Expungement Guide).
Narrator: It details all the steps you need to correctly complete and submit your Expungement application.
(Robert jots down some notes).
Narrator: To get started, you should first check if your past conviction is eligible to be considered for an expungement order.
(Step 1 of the Guide titled “Check if you are eligible to apply” appears on Screen).
Narrator: Convictions that are eligible include…
(The actual text lifts slightly off the page. Each is highlighted as it is being said. The page’s remaining text in the background is blurred).
Narrator: …gross indecency, buggery, anal intercourse or any offence under the National Defence Act that is also an offence under the Expungement Act.
(Robert is intently scanning the page).
Narrator: In addition, an expungement can only be ordered if all three of the following criteria are met:
(Step 1 of the Guide reappears on the Screen).
Narrator: …the sexual activity was between persons of the same sex…
(The text “same sex” lifts off the page as it is being said).
Narrator: …that the person, or persons, involved, other than the person convicted, had given their consent…
(The text “consent” lifts off the page as it is being said).
Narrator: …and that they were 16 years of age or older at the time or subject to a “close in age” defence.
(The text “16 years of age” lifts off the page as it is being said).
(Scene changes to a Canadian courtroom).
Narrator: In order to demonstrate to us that your eligible conviction, or convictions, meet the three expungement criteria…
(A black and white shot of a redacted official court document scrolls over the courtroom image).
Narrator: …you must attempt to obtain the court and police documents pertaining to your convictions.
(Robert walks around with a cellular telephone to his ear and then jots down notes in a notebook).
Narrator: If you remember the court that heard your case and the police service who arrested you, you can request a copy of your records from them. If neither one has your records on file, you must ask them to confirm this in writing.
(Scenery changes to Robert reviewing his records).
Narrator: If they do produce your records, review them closely to confirm that your conviction meets the criteria for expungement.
(Robert puts down his records and clicks on….).
Narrator: Now, if you can’t recall the details of your conviction…
(Step 2 of the Expungement Guide titled “Get court and/or police documents” appears on the screen).
Narrator: …you can request a copy of your criminal record from the National Repository of Criminal Records, maintained by the RCMP.
(“National Repository of Criminal Records” lifts off the page as it is being said).
(Scenery changes over to a picture of the Peace Tower in the background with the war monument in the foreground).
Narrator: If you or the deceased person were convicted while serving as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces...
(Step 3 of the Expungement Guide titled “Get Military Conduct Sheet” appears on the screen).
Narrator: you must include a copy of the Military Conduct Sheet as part of your application.
(Robert pulls out documents from an 8X10 brown envelope).
Narrator: Once you receive the records…
(Robert reads some papers held in front of his face).
Narrator: ...and after careful review they do not demonstrate that the criteria for expungement are met, what do you do?
(Robert puts down the papers, opens his laptop, and clicks on the mouse).
Narrator: If that’s the case, you must provide a sworn statement or solemn declaration…
(Step 3 of the Expungement guide titled “Get Military Conduct Sheet" (continued) opens on the screen and then scrolls to Step 4 titled “Prepare a sworn statement or solemn declaration”).
Narrator:…signed by a legal representative, with your application.
(The “Sworn statement/solemn declaration if you are applying on your own behalf”, the “Sworn statement/solemn declaration if you are applying on behalf of a deceased person”, “Instructions for obtaining a fingerprint based copy of your criminal record” and “Instruction letter for individuals applying for an expungement order requesting a criminal record check” float across the screen).
Narrator: Examples of a sworn statement and solemn declaration, instructions for obtaining a fingerprint based copy of your criminal record, and how to request a criminal record check can all be found in the Application Guide.
(Robert looks at Step 5 of the Expungement Guide “Get a photocopy of a document to support your identity” on his laptop).
Narrator: To confirm your identity,…
(Robert looks at a photocopy of his driver’s license).
Narrator: ...a clear photocopy of a valid document that supports your identity must be included with your application.
(Robert aligns the photocopy of his driver’s license with other papers in this hands and places them on the desk).
Narrator: If you’re applying on behalf of a deceased person, you must produce a document that supports your relationship with that person and a document that confirms their death.
(Robert’s fingers slide up the mouse pad).
Narrator: Once you have gathered all the necessary documents and photocopies…
(The web page titled "Expungement Application Guide and Form" appears on Robert’s laptop).
Narrator: ...it’s time to fill out the Expungement Application form. The same form…
(The “Application for an Expungement Order” appear on the screen. Text Applying on your own behalf, applying on behalf of a deceased person lifts off the page as it’s being said).
Narrator: ...can be used for yourself…or for the deceased person that you’re applying for.
(Information is being typed onto the application form).
Narrator: The form can be filled out online and then printed and signed. You must answer all questions accurately and completely. Concealing information or making unclear statements might possibly result in your application being turned down.
(Richard signs his Application form. The scene changes to Step 8 of the Expungement Guide titled “Complete this Checklist before you mail your expungement application”).
Narrator: To ensure that your application is complete before mailing it to the Parole Board of Canada…
(The necessary steps float off the screen and are checked off).
Narrator: …we suggest you tick off the following boxes in the Expungement Application Checklist.
(The cover page of the Expungement Application Guide appear and the Need assistance box is magnified).
Narrator: If you require help in completing your application, or have questions, contact us at Parole Board of Canada, 1-800-874-2652 or at email@example.com.
(Robert gathers his papers and inserts them into a brown envelop when flipped over shows the address of the Parole Board).
Narrator: Once received and accepted as complete, applications will be processed as quickly as possible. If your expungement is ordered, the RCMP will destroy, or remove, any judicial records of your conviction in its custody….
(A close-up of a photo (a man in the backseat of a vehicle) shows up the screen).
Narrator: ...and notify relevant federal departments or agencies.
(Robert closes his laptop and gets up from the chair).
Narrator: Relevant courts and any police forces that have your record of conviction will also be notified to do the same.
(Music plays in the background while “For more information on Expungement visit Canada.ca/expungement” appear on the screen which fade out to be replaced with the Parole Board of Canada's logo. The logo is then replaced with the Government of Canada's wordmark).
Important notice: This video explains the expungement application process for historically unjust convictions for eligible offences involving consensual sexual activity with a same-sex partner. On February 16, 2023, the Government of Canada expanded the list of eligible offences for expungement. To view the full list of eligible offences and criteria, visit Canada.ca/expungement.
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