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Shabnam Akrami is the Managing Partner and Founder of Akrami & Associates.

Refusal of Record Suspension and how to obtain your Criminal Record

Refusal of Record Suspension and how to obtain your Criminal Record

What is a record suspension?

A record suspension allows you to receive a pardon for a particular offence you committed. Once you have completed your sentence for a crime you been convicted for, you are eligible for a record suspension (also known as a pardon). Receiving a record suspension will give you a pardon on that specific offence. If you are convicted of a criminal offence and have completed your sentence and have shown you are law abiding citizen for period of time you can request to keep your criminal record separate from your other criminal records.

How to apply for record suspension?

To apply for a record suspension, you will apply to the Parole Board of Canada (PBC). In some cases, your application for a record suspension may be refused or revoked. This may be because of lack of information or improper filing. There also may be years before you can apply for a record suspension. In many of these cases it may be 5 or 10 years from which you completed your sentence. But, this depends on how many offences you committed or the seriousness of the crime (summary or indictable).

Who cannot obtain a record suspension?

  1. Committing sexual assault to a minor
  2. Committing more than 3 indictable offences.
  3. Convicted of an offence as an adult in Canada
  4. Convicted of a crime in another country

Even if your offence was a long time ago, the crime you committed will still be on present on your criminal record. This means it will not go away. It can go away by taking the necessary steps by you to remove which is to obtain a record suspension for the offense.

Can I reapply for a record suspension?

Yes, you can reapply for the record suspension, you will need to send an application to the Parole Board of Canada. However, you can only do this one year after applying previously. When you do re-apply, you have a better chance of your record suspension application being accepted.

If you are outside of Canada, you will need to overcome your criminal inadmissibility. You can do this obtaining a US waiver (if American), temporary resident permit, or criminal rehabilitation.

When should I file my application?

It is highly recommended to prepare the paperwork well in advance because compiling the appropriate documentation can take several months. To process your application it can take between 1-2 years.

Will my criminal record be erased if the offense occurred a long time ago?

Your criminal record will not be removed even if the offence you committed was a long time ago. In all cases you must take the necessary steps to have it removed and obtain a record suspension.

However it is important to keep in mind that obtaining a record suspension will not erase the fact that you were convicted of a crime. Once you have been granted a record suspension, the record of your conviction will be kept separate from other criminal records. On the application the question you will most commonly be asked is “Do you have a criminal record for which record suspension has not been granted?” To this you would answer no, but if you are asked if you ever committed an offence, you will say yes but it has been pardoned.

These steps are only for if you committed the offence inside of Canada. If you committed the offence outside of Canada, then you will need to overcome it. For example, you can apply for a temporary resident permit, US Waiver (if American), or criminal rehabilitation.

Who processes record suspensions?

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) processes record suspensions (pardons), revocations and cessation of record suspensions. The RCMP deals with sealing or reactivating the criminal record when a record suspension is granted, revoked, or ceased to have effect, and passes this information to other agencies on behalf of the Parole Board of Canada (PBC).

Who is responsible for record suspension?

The organization that is responsible for record suspension would be the Parole Board of Canada (PBC). If you have questions and concerns in regards to your record suspension it should be forwarded to Parole Board of Canada office.

Who seals my record suspension?

The RCMP will seal your criminal record upon notification that a record suspension has been granted by the Parole Board of Canada.

Who does not need to apply for a record suspension?

When charges against you were dismissed, stayed or withdrawn or did not result in a conviction you do NOT need to apply for record suspension. If you record is on the RCMP and your charges did not result in a conviction then you contact the office and request every information that was taken at the time of the arrest be destroyed. They may deny this request, if this happens contact the local police on what steps you need to take for non-convictions records to be removed from your record.

How to send an appeal to the RCMP?

You can send an appeal letter to the RCMP address and should include the following information in your letter.

  • identifying the error or decision made

  • include any new information that was obtained which was not included in the original request

  • provide additional supporting documents to support the appeal

  • copies of the Crown proceedings

  • police records

  • court documents

Are young person’s criminal records processed same as Adults?

No, young persons' criminal records are processed differently than adults.

Summary offence and indictable offence

  • The record will be removed after three years of the sentence when a young person is found guilty of a summary offence.
  • The record is kept active for a period of five years after the sentence when the young person is found guilty of an indictable offence.
  • if you are convicted of another crime prior to your expiration period of subsequent offence then the retention period will start all over again. Once the retention period is completed then it gets transferred to special repository.
  • If the young person charge is dismissed, withdrawn, or stayed the record is transferred to a special repository.

Absolute and conditional discharges

  • The record is moved to a special repository for one year from the date of the sentence when you are found guilty and given an absolute discharge as a young person
  • The record is moved to a special repository for three years from the date of sentence when you are found guilty and given a conditional discharge
  • Once moved to special repository system it cannot be accessed by agencies only by record suspension and purge services

How can I obtain my criminal record?

  1. Have your fingerprints taken at local police office
  2. Fill in your application and state clearly why you are requesting for one
  3. Include personal information:
  • your full name

  • your date of birth

  • your sex

  • your mailing address

  • your phone number

  1. Make sure your application is complete and includes the following
  • your full name

  • your date of birth

  • your sex

  • your mailing address

  • your phone number, fax number or email address

  • the reason for your application

  • the processing fees (if applicable)

  • the third party consent letter (if applicable)

  1. Submit your application
  2. Verify the status of your application (optional)
  3. Electronic submission of fingerprints

What is the processing fee criminal record and vulnerable sector check?

Depending on the reason you are applying for criminal check or vulnerable check there may or may not be a fee involved. The federal processing fee is $25 for each criminal record or vulnerable check.

You have to pay the federal processing fees in the following situations:

  • adopting a child, in Canada or overseas
  • traveling and need a visa, a US Waiver, or a border crossing document
  • applying for a job with a private business or the municipal/provincial government
  • applying for a record suspension (formerly pardon)
  • applying for student placement
  • applying for a name change
  • living with a vulnerable person who requires a record check be done on you
  • sponsoring a family member to come to Canada

You do not have to pay for federal processing fees in the following situations:

  • applying for your Canadian citizenship
  • applying to immigrate to Canada
  • applying for a job in the federal government
  • applying to join a Canadian police force
  • You are making a request under the Privacy Act
  • You are applying to do volunteer work in Canada

Contact Akrami & Associates

It is recommended to talk with a legal professional if your record suspension. They can see why your application was refused and work with you and the Parole Board. In addition they can tell you the next steps to take. This will ease your tension and when you do re-apply, you have a better chance of your record suspension application being accepted. Please call us at 416-477-2545 or call our toll free number 1-877-820-7121 to book a consultation and determine your options available.

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Reason for Being Denied Entry to Canada
Denied Entry to Canada or on a Removal from Canada

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