Conviction, Record of
Conviction, Record of
(Russian, sudimost’), the legal consequence of a conviction for a crime; one of the elements of criminal liability.
The record of conviction involves a restriction on a convicted person’s rights over and above the content of his punishment—for example, a person may be prohibited from holding certain positions or restricted in choosing a place of residence. Under Soviet law, a person who has served punishment is regarded as having a record of conviction for a period defined by law or until the record of conviction is removed. Legislation—for example, the Criminal Code of the RSFSR, art. 57—establishes a special procedure for the cancellation or removal of a record of conviction.
The cancellation of a record of conviction means the automatic revocation of the record of conviction after the expiration of a period established by law—from one to eight years—from the day of completion of the basic and supplementary punishment. The length of the period depends on the gravity of the crime and the type and extent of the punishment. A mandatory condition for the cancellation of a record of conviction is that no new crime be committed during the period. If a person who has served punishment again commits a crime prior to the expiration of the period for canceling the record of conviction, the period for canceling the record of conviction is interrupted and calculated anew after the punishment for the last crime is actually served. The person is regarded as having a record of conviction for both crimes until the expiration of the period for canceling the conviction for the graver of them.
The removal of a record of conviction means annulment of the record by a court. This procedure is used for persons sentenced to deprivation of freedom for a term exceeding ten years and for especially dangerous recidivists, if during the period (established by law) after serving the basic and supplementary punishment they do not commit a new crime and if the court has established that they are corrected. If a person sentenced to deprivation of freedom, after serving the punishment, proves his correction by exemplary conduct and an honorable attitude toward labor, the court may then, upon the petition of public organizations, remove the record of conviction before expiration of the periods established. A record of conviction may also be removed through amnesty or pardon.
The commission of a crime by a person previously convicted is a circumstance that aggravates the liability for the new crime; in some instances, it constitutes grounds for deeming the person an especially dangerous recidivist.