Record Suspension Canada
What Is A Record Suspension?
If you have been convicted of an offense and you have successfully completed your sentence you may be eligible for a pardon. To be eligible you need to have completed your sentence and demonstrate you are law-abiding citizens. Once the pardon is granted you can then you're your criminal record kept separate and apart from other criminal records.
What Is A Criminal Record?
A criminal record is a record of criminal activity, regardless of the outcome in court. Even after several years and, even if it concerns a minor offence, a criminal record does not disappear automatically. Having a prior criminal record can create issues to many important things in life, including travelling. You need to overcome this prior to enter Canada. If you have committed the offence in Canada, then you may need to apply for a Pardon.
How Do I Know If I Have A Criminal Record?
If you have been charged with a crime, even if you were found not guilty, or were never convicted, you do have a criminal record. Getting an RCMP clearance might be your best bet to knowing what really is on your record.
How Likely Am I To Be Granted A Record Suspension?
Depending on your offense you either need to wait 5 or 10 years from the date you successfully completed the sentence which was imposed on you. Once you meet the requisite time period and by providing proper supporting documents of good conduct you may be granted a pardon.
Record Suspensions are not granted if you have a sexual offence to a minor or if you have done jail time for over 2 years more than 3 times.
What Happens If The Parole Board of Canada Refuses My Application?
This is a very good question. Many clients come to us as they have been denied the pardon after they applied on their own. Many applications get denied because of lack of information or improper filing. It is therefore essential that there is full disclosure and that your documents clearly show you are rehabilitated. If an application is denied, then you can re-apply after one year.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Record Suspension?
It takes an average of 12-24 months for a record suspension application to be processed and granted. However, to prepare the record suspension application, many documents must be collected. Acquiring the proper supporting documents takes between 3-10 months. Therefore, it is a good idea to start preparing the application well in advance of your eligibility date. Please contact us for the complete list of required documents. We are here to help you.
What Happens To My Criminal Record File After I Have Been Granted A Record Suspension?
There will always be a record of all your criminal offenses. However, once a record suspension is granted, this records will be kept separate and apart with RCMP. Once you have been pardoned for your past offenses then the information pertaining to your past record will not be disclosed without the specific approval of the Minister of Public Safety.
Once I Have My Record Suspension, If I Am Asked, "Have You Ever Been Convicted Of A Criminal Offence?", What Should I Say?
Usually the question will not be, "have you committed an offense." Usually the question will be "Do you have a criminal record for which record suspension has not been granted?" The answer to that question is NO.
Should the first question arise, then you can state "YES but I have been pardoned for my past offense."
What Happens If I Have A Record Suspension And I Get Charged Again?
That will be unfortunate as your record suspension can be revoked. If you are convicted of an indictable offence (more serious offence) your record suspension ceases and your past convictions will once again be on your criminal record. If you are convicted of a summary offence (less serious), or given a discharge, it will be dealt on a case-by-case basis. So it is important proper submissions are made so that your pardon is not revoked.
If I Have More Than One Conviction, Do I Need More Than One Record Suspension?
No. You will require only one so long as the requisite waiting period of 5 or 10 years have passed for each of your convictions, and if you have met all of the other requirements, you can apply to have all of your convictions pardoned/suspended at the same time.
What If My Charges Were Withdrawn, Stayed, Dismissed, or I Was Acquitted?
This is another good question. Although you may not have been found guilty or convicted, your fingerprint number will be revealed in criminal record searches. So what you can do is usually have your record destroyed if you were not found guilty. This way, it will get rid of everything on your record.
My Criminal Record Is From 15 Years Ago And I Was Told That It Would Automatically Disappear. Is That True?
No. Criminal convictions are not automatically destroyed or sealed. The individual must take steps and apply to have their record removed.
If you face a criminal inadmissibility that may preclude you from proceeding with your immigration goals, a Record Suspension, formerly known as a pardon, may be for you. The Parole Board of Canada is the official and only federal agency responsible for making decisions on matters of record suspension.
Therefore, only the Parole Board of Canada can order, refuse or revoke a record suspension.
You Cannot Apply For A Record Suspension If You Have Been Convicted Of:
- a Schedule 1 Offence (sexual offence involving a child) under the Criminal Records Act;
- more than three (3) offences prosecuted by indictment, each with a prison
You Can Apply For A Record Suspension If You:
- Were convicted as an adult of an offence in Canada under a federal act or regulation of Canada;
- Were convicted of a crime in another country and were transferred to Canada under the Transfer of Offenders Act or International Transfer of Offenders Act.
A record suspension keeps a record of a conviction separate and apart from other criminal records, and gives law abiding citizens an opportunity to reintegrate into society. It removes all information about the conviction from the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database. A record suspension removes disqualifications caused by a criminal conviction, such as the ability to contract with the federal government, or eligibility for Canadian citizenship.
Note, if you are convicted of a new offense after obtaining a record suspension, this may reactivate the CPIC database to include the separated information.
Be advised that a Record Suspension does not erase the fact that you have ever been convicted of a crime. Record of your convictions will still exist however they will not appear in and be kept separate from other criminal records.
Record Suspension Application
A Record Suspension may be a viable option of you is a permanent resident seeking to become a citizen and have committed an offense in Canada. This record suspension will not wipe the slate clean, as a record of your conviction will still be kept, but information about this conviction will be kept separate from other criminal databases.
Therefore, these offenses will not appear in a background check. The goal of a record suspension is to allow rehabilitated people the opportunity to resume normal life and adapt back into society without facing the difficulties of having a criminal record.
Note, if you do re-offend after you have received your record suspension, your previous offenses may return to appearing in normal criminal searches.
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If you intend on submitting your application without the support of a representative, there are a couple of factors you should keep in mind.
Sentences And Fines
Before you can apply for a record suspension, you will need to make sure that you have complied with and completed all the sentences and fines associated with your convictions. This includes:
- all fines, surcharges, costs, restitution and compensation orders;
- all sentences of imprisonment, conditional sentences, including parole and statutory release;
- any probation order(s).
After completing all of your sentences, you must have completed a waiting period:
- 5 years for a summary offence (or a service offence under the National Defence Act).
- 10 years for an indictable offence (or a service offence under the National Defence Act for which you were fined more than $5,000, detained or imprisoned for more than 6 months)
How Do I Know How Long To Wait Before I Am Eligible For A Pardon?
- You do not need to wait if you were found not guilty for the offense you were charged
- 10 years for indictable convictions
- Pardon record suspension will NOT be granted if your charge was a sexual conviction where the victim was a minor
- Pardon record suspension will NOT be granted if you have 4 or more indictable convictions, each of which 2 years or more of jail time was served
- If your offense was discharged then the waiting period begin from the court date
- For convictions, waiting periods begin once the sentence imposed by the court is satisfied.
What Is Included In A Sentence?
For the purpose of applying for a Pardon, a sentence means the conditions that a judge ordered you to complete. A sentence can include one or a combination of the following:
- Fine / Surcharge payment – this is paid to the court.
- Probation – you must report to a probation officer.
- Restitution – payment made to an injured party. For example, if you broke someone's car window, you may be ordered to pay for the repair.
- Jail time
- Conditional Sentence Order – similar to jail time but served in the community. This type of order is usually made in the case where traditional jail is not seen as appropriate.
- Prohibitions (such as driver's license suspension, or not being allowed to possess firearms) are NOT INCLUDED in calculating eligibility for a pardon/record suspension.
Are There Any Advantages To Starting The Process Now?
Yes. Even if the exact date of eligibility is known, it is important to begin collecting the necessary paperwork as soon as possible because it can take several months. Most documents do not expire, so acquiring them in advance is a good idea. Also, if there are any complications with your file, we will be able to spot them and remedy them well in advance of your eligibility date.
By Starting Early We Can Do The Following:
- We can find out quickly if your file was transferred to the RCMP or if a mistake was made.
- We can calculate your exact eligibility date.
- You can provide Reference letters to employers or Canadian Immigration etc., as evidence that the pardon record suspension process is underway and will be successfully completed.
- We can obtain and analyze necessary court documents.
- We can ensure that your application is submitted the day you are eligible.
You can also check our site dedicated to Denied Entry To Canada
We Can Help You With Your Record Suspension Application!
We have dealt with hundreds of Record Suspension Application cases. We have helped our clients in their difficult situations and have guided them to draft a more effective application. We can help you draft your application and arrange the required documents. A well-planned and complete application will increase your likelihood of acceptance and will save your from hassle.
If you are worried about the legal fees, don't be! Our goal is to help everyone that is interested in immigrating to Canada. Contact us and we can provide numerous options for you. You can also purchase our very affordable Do it Yourself Immigration Kit which details everything for you. If you are still not sure, feel free to get back to us. We will review your case before you submit it to give you the best possible outcome.