Dear Mrs Macaulay,
My husband was charged for felonious wounding back in 2003. Can that crime now be expunged?
The charge of felonious wounding is not listed among the offences which may not be expunged in the Criminal Records (Rehabilitation of Offenders) (Amendment) Act 2014.
Therefore, as far as the offence is concerned, your husband can apply to the Criminal Records (Rehabilitation of Offenders ) Board to have his conviction expunged.
However, you have not stated what his sentence was, which is what will determine whether his rehabilitation period has expired so that under the Act he would fall within the category of persons with convictions who should be treated as rehabilitated.
You see, to be such a person, he must show in his application for his conviction to be expunged, among other things, what was his exact sentence. He must also state in which court he was tried, the offence for which he was convicted, the dates of the trial and of his conviction, and as I have already pointed out, the exact sentence which was imposed on him.
The Act provides what the 'rehabilitation periods' are depending on whether the sentence did not include a term of imprisonment, or if it did, that the term did not exceed five years, and it also states that the provisions of the Act do not apply to those offences specified in the 3rd Schedule of the Act.
Anyway, since your husband's conviction and sentence occurred in 2003, which is either 15 plus or 16 years, it is clear that the appropriate rehabilitation period for his offence would have expired and that he should be treated as a rehabilitated person in respect of that offence. He can therefore apply to have his conviction expunged. I trust that during his appropriate period of rehabilitation (which I cannot address as you did not state what his sentence was), he did not commit another offence for which he was charged and convicted, even if it was in another country other than in Jamaica. If this was the case it will adversely affect the end of his period of rehabilitation and so delay when he can apply.
Your husband should obtain a certified copy of his conviction and sentence from the court in which he was tried, convicted and sentenced, and his record from the Criminal Records Office, and then go and make enquiries from the office of the board as to his status. It is my view that if his record shows that he was not convicted for any other offence after the felonious wounding in 2003, that he can make his application for this conviction to be expunged.
I cannot, as I said, be more certain as you did not state what sentence was imposed on him. There are more details in the Act which I have not stated herein because they will not assist your husband's application, as they are not really relevant to it.
Your husband should act on his own behalf and interest and obtain the documents I mentioned above and start the process of having his conviction expunged.
May I take this opportunity to wish my editor, the staff at the Observer, all my readers and their families, my family, friends and colleagues, a peaceful, safe, healthy and prosperous New Year.
Margarette May Macaulay is an attorney-at-law, Supreme Court mediator, notary public, and women's and children's rights advocate. Send questions via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org; or write to All Woman, 40-42 1/2 Beechwood Avenue, Kingston 5. All responses are published. Mrs Macaulay cannot provide personal responses.
The contents of this article are for informational purposes only, and must not be relied upon as an alternative to legal advice from your own attorney.