Over 9 million people who have had their criminal records cleared by the Royal Thai Police (RTP) can now check their status in a new website that was launched today.
The initiative aims to rectify issues in the screening process, as many citizens with a criminal history, despite being acquitted by the court or having charges dropped, still had records in the criminal records database, leading to the denial of rights, job opportunities, and potentially pushing them towards more criminal activities.
The initiative has successfully restored rights to 9.3 million people out of the total 13,051,234 with criminal records within a two-year period, according to the RTP.
If you happen to have a criminal record and think you may be eligible to be cleared of minor offenses (hey, we won’t judge), you can check your status via this nifty website. Do take note that this is for Thai nationals.
Authorities have revised the criteria for personal records to comply with Article 29 Paragraph 2 of the 2017 Constitution, stating that if there is no final judgment, the individual is presumed innocent. The criteria for expunging records have been updated in nine areas.
They include cases with a non-prosecution order, withdrawn cases, legal cancellation of offenses (ex. cannabis possession), individuals who have successfully rehabilitated from drug addiction, individuals who have been acquitted, legal amnesty cases, individuals who have been pardoned, no repeated offenses within 20 years, minors or juveniles facing charges, and new verdicts stating the individual is not the offender, and cases with expired statutes of limitations.
We can probably assume that those accused of lese-majeste won’t apply to this program.
National police chief Torsak Sukvimol emphasized that over the past few years, the project has been deemed beneficial for citizens, especially regarding offenses like driving under the influence, which are not considered criminal. However, he acknowledged that the project cannot fully solve issues, but efforts are made to provide individuals with the maximum opportunity to reintegrate into society.
Interestingly, when asked about formerly exiled ex-prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who is currently serving his one-year sentence for abuse of power and malfeasance after returning to Thailand earlier this year, deputy police chief Surachate “Big Joke” Hakparn said the project cannot apply to him due to the “severity and duration of his sentence.” He also clarified that it is not up to the Royal Thai Police to grant him a royal pardon.