What Is Expungement? 

Expunge of criminal record. Expungement written on a document

A criminal record can create a lot of difficulties for you down the road. Whether it was being arrested or convicted, your record can prevent employers from hiring you or landlords from renting out to you. However, there is a way in which you can potentially expunge an arrest or conviction from your record. You may be wondering what an expungement is and what it entails. We will break down and explain the basics of getting an offence expunged: 


What Does It Mean? 

To expunge something off of your record means to destroy or remove it. This process can be done due to the Expungement of Historically Unjust Convictions Act. This legislation can allow for the permanent removal or destruction of unjust convictions from federal databases. The Parole Board of Canada is the factor in ordering or refusing to order the expungement.


There are certain convictions under the Criminal Code and the National Defence Act that can be considered eligible for expungement. First, you will have to ensure you are convicted of an offence in the schedule to the Expungement Act

Convictions that are eligible for expungement: 

  • Gross indecency or an attempt to commit gross indecency 
  • Buggery or attempt to commit buggery 
  • Any offence that is under the National Defence Act or a previous version of that act or omission that constitutes an offence listed in the Expungement Act
  • Expungement of historically unjust convictions, such as offences involving consensual sexual activity with a same-sex partner, is now in place today 

Make sure to brush up on information related to expungements, as there may be some cases in which only certain factors are allowed. For example, expungement may only be possible for arrests and misdemeanors or may only be available to those who have already served their sentences. 

Applying for Expungement 

There is no processing fee required to apply for an expungement order. If you fit the criteria for expungement, keep in mind that costs may be incurred with acquiring documentation. Court or police documents, as well as sworn statements or declarations, may be subject to fees. Applicants may have to provide evidence that their conviction follows the required criteria.

The Three Criteria  

  • The activity that the person was convicted of was between persons of the same-sex.
  • The person (not the convicted) had given their consent before the activity began.
  • The person (not the convicted) who was participating had to be 16 years of age or older during the time of the activity. 

Posthumous Expungement 

Most convictions that are eligible for an expungement order can be decades old. Many of these individuals may be deceased and unable to apply for expungement. A representative may apply for expungement on behalf of the deceased, as it is now recognized that the eligible conviction may be unjust under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

For any assistance and representation in any offences, contact Winnipeg Defence lawyers Brodsky Amy & Gould. Any of your needs will be met professionally, as well as respectfully. Do not go at this alone. Let these knowledgeable lawyers take it from here.