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Record Suspension Pardons

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What is a 'Record Suspension'? (Pardon)

A Record Suspension (Pardon) is a formal application to remove a criminal record for those people who have been convicted of an offence. Effective March 13, 2012, the federal law dealing with pardons changed. The term 'pardon' is now changed to 'record suspension'; there are increased waiting periods for applying for a record suspension; and, there is a limit on who is eligible for a record suspension. An individual, over 18 years of age who has been convicted of a crime and who holds a permanent criminal record, is generally eligible to apply for a record suspension. There are several positive reasons to obtain a record suspension. For example, at times you may be asked about your criminal record, or you may need to provide consent to provide a criminal record check or a vulnerable sector check for certain jobs, such as volunteer work, education, government, and professional memberships. On a successful record suspension, the RCMP and other federal agencies that have a record of your conviction must keep your record separate. In order to apply for a record suspension, you must adhere to the new waiting timelines beginning after the completion of your sentence. Your criminal sentence is completed when you have either paid all fines, restitution, or served your full time in jail, house arrest, or completed your probation order and conditions. Once your criminal sentence is complete, you must wait 5 years, if your case was heard Summarily, or 10 years if your case was heard Indictable (more serious charge). Beginning March 13, 2012, persons convicted of sexual offences involving children, with some exceptions, are not eligible for a record suspension. Contact the Parole Board of Canada for further information on eligibility at 1-800-874-2652.

If you received a discharge for your crime, for example an absolute discharge or a conditional discharge, then you do not need to apply for a record suspension. The reason is because discharges are removed automatically after 1 year (absolute) and 3 years (conditional).

Is a 'Record Suspension' (Pardon) Beneficial?

Generally, a record suspension is beneficial, as it removes the stigma surrounding a person's criminal record. The Criminal Records Act specifically outlines that pardoned offences shall not be sought in the employment applications of organizations under federal jurisdiction. Although the criminal record is not erased, it is kept separate and apart from other convictions that have not been pardoned. It is important for individuals not to carry a criminal record, as it could affect Canadian citizenship eligibility, professional designations (lawyers, accountants, teachers, paralegals, doctors). People who have a criminal record are disadvantaged as a result, and often issues arise when applying for volunteer work, employment, apartment rentals, child custody, adoption, mortgage approval, and other educational opportunities.

At Scardicchio Law Office Professional Corporation, our qualified lawyers are experienced with record suspension applications (pardons) and understand the process and formalities that a successful record suspension approval takes.

Has Your Record Suspension Application Been Initially Denied?

If you have applied for a record suspension and you have received a letter from the Parole Board of Canada outlining that your application is being proposed for rejection pending further written representations for the Board to review, please contact our office immediately as there are strict time limits for these representations to be submitted on your behalf. Most often is the case that an application is proposed to be rejected based on the 'good conduct' and 'law abiding citizen' ground. The Parole Board has wide discretion and expertise and it is not recommended that an individual make their own written response, as there are many cases and regulations that govern the Board's decision-making process. There are additional Policy Manuals that the Board relies upon, as well as definitions of 'good conduct' that need to be addressed in the appropriate manner. Good conduct, as defined by the Board, is very broad. The Board has discretion to deny applications based on whether in the time period after your last conviction you have had any further convictions as well as any allegations or suspicions with police interventions. The representations form part of the Board`s final decision. A final rejection would require a Judicial Appeal. Contact our lawyers to discuss how we can assist you with addressing the Board for written representions.

At Scardicchio Law Office Professional Corporation, our qualified lawyers are experienced with record suspension applications (pardons) and understand the process and formalities that a successful record suspension approval takes.

Contact Us To Start Your Record Suspension Application

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Access the Criminal Code of Canada here

Criminal Record Suspension (Pardons) in the News

  Nov 21, 2013 CBC News

Requests for pardons drop in wake of changes

Fewer Canadians are applying for pardons since the federal government hiked application fees and changed the rules to make offenders wait longer before they can ask for a suspension of criminal records....

  Oct 13, 2014 The London Free Press

New moniker, criminal pardon allowed Ontario predator to fly under police radar

...The pardon wiped his criminal slate clean. While it's unclear when he got it, he'd have had to have waited at least three years after his sentence was done. The natures of his crimes didn't matter...

  Accessed Oct, 2014

The Impact of a Criminal Record

Julien now knows he must live with the consequences of a criminal record, even if he can get what is called a records suspension (which used to be called a "pardon")...

  Jul 17, 2014 Waterloo Regional Police Service

Ontario Police Chiefs Release Updated Guideline for Police Record Checks

Ontario’s police leaders have released an updated resource document for conducting police record checks...

Criminal Record Suspension - Pardons Lawyers

  Record Suspension (Pardons) Lawyers

Our Criminal Pardon | Record Suspension Lawyers service Brampton , Mississauga , Oakville , Milton , Toronto, Etobicoke, Peel, Vaughan, Caledon, Halton, Burlington, Orangeville, Newmarket, Barrie, Collingwood, Wasaga Beach. Do you need a Criminal Pardon? Call us today. Free telephone consultations.

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