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.