A conviction for a criminal offence, new or old, can severely restrict your freedom. A pardon removes any record of your past offences from a criminal record check that may be required for employment, travel etc. There are many advantages to obtaining a pardon:
- Better prospects for employment and self-employment
- Increased freedom to travel outside Canada
- Peace of mind
- Improved ability to be bonded
- Reduced potential risk of negative impact on child custody/visitation cases
- Easier housing rental
- Improved prospects of meeting educational requirements
What is a record suspension?
Anyone convicted of a criminal offence has a criminal record. A record suspension allows people who were convicted of a criminal offence, have completed their sentence and demonstrated they are law-abiding citizens, to have their criminal record removed and kept separate from other criminal records. After a record suspension is granted, a search of the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) will not indicate that you had a criminal record, or that you were issued a record suspension.
Who is eligible for a record suspension?
Summary offences - you are eligible for a record suspension five years after you have completed your sentence for your offence(s).
Indictable offences - you are eligible for a record suspension after ten years and with good conduct following completion of your sentence for your offence(s). A sentence may be a fine, probation, a jail term, surcharge or restitution. For the purpose of a record suspension, a court order prohibiting you from driving or possessing a firearm, is not considered as part of the sentence.
Who will grant my record suspension?
Record suspensions are not issued automatically. To remove a criminal record, an application must be made under the Criminal Records Act (CRA) to the National Parole Board (NPB). Applicants must first complete their sentence and show that they are now law-abiding citizens. The NPB issues, grants, denies or revokes record suspensions for convictions under federal acts or regulations of Canada. The NPB does this under the CRA. Visit the National Parole Board website for additional information.
What do I need to know about obtaining a record suspension?
You do not need a lawyer or a representative to apply for a record suspension. The National Parole Board (NPB) gives the same consideration to a record suspension application submitted by an individual or by a representative. No record suspensions company can expedite the record suspension process for an additional fee. No organization can provide this service faster than any other organization.
How long will it take to obtain a record suspension?
How quickly you receive a record suspension is dependent on a number of variables related to how fast courts and police departments respond to requests for information. Once all records have been obtained, the performance standards set by the Parole Board of Canada indicate up to 6 months for a summary offence(s) and up to 12 months for an indictable offence(s).