The expungement of a criminal record is a legal process that allows an individual to have their criminal records sealed or erased, effectively “wiping the slate clean.” This is a subject of great importance to many, especially those who find that past indiscretions continue to affect their lives long after they have paid their dues to society.

There are a number of reasons why someone might want to expunge their criminal record. For example, a person with a criminal record may have difficulty finding a job, housing, or getting a loan. Expungement can help people to move on from their past and start a new life.

It’s important to note that previous convictions can remain on your criminal record even after a significant amount of time has passed. In Cyprus, under the Law on the Rehabilitation of Convicted Persons (L.70/1981), certain convictions may be expunged or “rehabilitated” under specific conditions. However, not all convictions are eligible for expungement; only those specified by the law can be removed from your record.

Legal Framework

Cyprus Legislation

In Cyprus, the primary legislation governing the expungement of criminal records is the Rehabilitation of Convicted Persons (L.70/1981). This law sets forth the conditions under which an individual may apply for the expungement of their criminal records.

European Union Legislation

The European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS) allows for the exchange of criminal records between EU Member States. While ECRIS facilitates the sharing of criminal records, it’s essential to note that each country has its own rules about disclosing or expunging criminal records.

Eligibility for Expungement

  1. Type of Offence: Not all offences are eligible for expungement. Generally, minor offenses have a higher likelihood of being expunged compared to serious crimes.
  2. Time Passed: A certain period must have elapsed since the completion of the sentence. The time varies depending on the severity of the offence.
  3. Subsequent Offences: The applicant should not have committed any other offences during the period following the completion of their sentence.
  4. Age at the Time of Offence: Special considerations may apply for offences committed as a juvenile.

What types of offences are not eligible for expungement?

Expungement is not possible for certain types of offences, including:

  1. Sexual offences.
  2. Offences involving violence.
  3. Drug offences.
  4. Fraud offences.
  5. DUI offences.

Procedure for Expungement

  1. Application: An application must be submitted to the District Court. The application should include all necessary documentation, such as court records and proof of completed sentence. The Chief of Police is responsible for reviewing the applications and making a recommendation to the Court. The Court then makes the final decision on whether or not to grant Expungement.
  2. Review: The application is reviewed by the Court, which may request additional information or documentation.
  3. Decision: A decision is made based on the merits of the application and the criteria set forth in the law. If approved, the criminal record is expunged or sealed.
  4. Notification: The applicant is notified of the decision, and if successful, the expunged record is removed from public access.

Possibilities and Limitations

  1. Employment: An expunged record improves employment prospects, as most employers conduct a criminal background check.
  2. Visa Applications: An expunged record may facilitate visa applications and travel within the EU, although it’s essential to note that some countries have their own rules regarding the acceptance of expunged records.
  3. Civil Rights: Expungement may restore certain civil rights, such as the right to vote or hold public office.


  1. Law Enforcement Access: Even if a record is expunged, it may still be accessible by law enforcement agencies for specific purposes.
  2. Non-Expungable Offenses: Certain offences, particularly violent or sexual crimes, may not be eligible for expungement.


The expungement of a criminal record in Cyprus is a complex and nuanced process governed by specific laws and regulations. While the law provides a pathway for individuals to move past their criminal history, it also imposes strict criteria and procedural requirements that must be met.

For further information or legal assistance on the expungement of criminal records in Cyprus, please contact us. We specialise in criminal law and can guide you through the complexities of the expungement process.


This article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice.