Obtaining a Record Suspension (Pardons) in Canada

A record suspension in Canada allows a convicted felon who has completed all of his or her sentences to have their criminal record set aside in order to enable them to gain access to employment and educational opportunities and to fully reintegrate into society.A record suspension (formerly called a pardon) does not erase the fact that you were convicted of a crime, it only prevents that information from being shared. However, a record suspension cannot be used to prevent prohibitions such as restraining orders, firearm restrictions, and driving restrictions.Only the Parole Bod of Canada can grant, deny, cancel, or withdraw a record suspension.

What to do Before Applying for a Record Suspension

Complete your sentence as seen below;
  • You must have completed all sentences of imprisonment and conditional sentences
  • Complete all probation orders,
  • Have paid all fines associated with your sentence.
  • You must have original documents to prove that you have completed all your sentences, and these documents must include:
  • All your correct information,
  • Dates of sentence completion,
  • Original signatures,
  • Original stamps or seals.
  • In cases where the proof that your sentence is complete happen to be missing, you can try and get it by contacting:
  • The lawyer who represented you,
  • Your probation officer,
  • The courts, for a record of fines paid.
You will also have to complete your waiting periodThe duration of the waiting period is determinant by the commitment of the individual. The duration could range between 5 and 10 years. The various form of offense includes: Summary offense indictable or hybrid offenseA summary offense is one that can be heard by a magistrate sitting alone. A summary offense can also be heard in the absence of the accused individual from the court.For a summary offense, you will have to wait for a period of five years from the date after which the sentence was completed. Summary offenses include but not limited to the following: property damage, road traffic offenses (such as unlicensed driving, drink driving), offensive behavior, etc.Indictable offenses are highly serious offenses that cannot be heard in the absence of the accused individual from the court. For an indictable offense, you will have to wait for a period of ten years from the date after which the sentence was completed. These offenses include murder, manslaughter, drug trafficking, burglary, etc.
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