Andrew Tanenbaum - Pardons Canada

How to remove a criminal record

January 31, 2024
Verified By Professional
Andrew Tanenbaum
Pardons Canada

Legal Services

Verified Payment - We have successfully processed payment from this account

Removing a criminal record in Canada, more commonly referred to as obtaining a record suspension (formerly known as a pardon), is a legal procedure that allows individuals with a previous criminal conviction to have their record kept separate from active criminal records. This article provides a legal perspective on the process, eligibility, and implications of removing a criminal record in Canada.

How to remove a criminal record

Understanding Record Suspension

A record suspension, governed under Canada’s Criminal Records Act (CRA), does not erase a criminal record but rather sets it aside. This means that the record is not accessible through standard criminal record checks, facilitating easier access to employment, education, and travel opportunities.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for a record suspension, applicants must satisfy several criteria:

  1. Completion of Sentences: All sentences, including imprisonment, probation, fines, and parole, must be fully served.
  2. Waiting Period: Applicants must have completed a waiting period post-sentence:
    • Five years for summary conviction offences.
    • Ten years for indictable offences.
  3. Conduct During Waiting Period: The applicant must demonstrate good conduct and not have been convicted of new offences during the waiting period.

Ineligibility Factors

Some individuals are ineligible for a record suspension:

  • Persons convicted of sexual offences against minors (with specific exceptions).
  • Individuals with more than three indictable offences, each with a sentence of two or more years.

Application Process

The process for obtaining a record suspension involves several steps:

  1. Criminal Record and Court Documents: Obtain a copy of your criminal record from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and any relevant court documents.
  2. Local Police Records Check: Acquire a local police records check from every place you have lived in the past five years.
  3. Measurable Benefit and Sustained Rehabilitation Form: Complete this form to demonstrate how a record suspension would provide a measurable benefit and that you have been rehabilitated.
  4. Application Form: Fill out the Parole Board of Canada’s application form accurately and completely.
  5. Application Fee: As of 2023, the application fee is $644.88, subject to change.
  6. Submission: Submit the application package, including all supporting documents and the application fee, to the Parole Board of Canada.

Legal Considerations

  • Accuracy and Completeness: Inaccuracies or incomplete information can lead to application delays or denial.
  • Legal Representation: While not mandatory, legal advice or assistance can be beneficial, particularly in complex cases.
  • No Guarantee of Approval: Meeting eligibility criteria does not guarantee approval. The Parole Board assesses each application on individual merits.
  • Effect on Record: A record suspension does not erase the conviction. It can be accessed under certain circumstances, such as by Canadian law enforcement agencies.
  • Revocation and Cessation: A record suspension can be revoked or cease to be effective if the individual is convicted of a new offence, found to be no longer of good conduct, or if the suspension was obtained through false or misleading information.

Implications of a Record Suspension

  1. Employment: Increases employability, as most employers in Canada cannot access suspended records during background checks.
  2. Travel: While it improves the likelihood of trouble-free travel, it does not guarantee entry to other countries, as foreign jurisdictions may have access to past records.
  3. Peace of Mind: Provides personal closure and recognition of rehabilitation.

The process of removing a criminal record in Canada through a record suspension is a rigorous legal process, requiring thorough preparation and adherence to statutory requirements. It represents an opportunity for former offenders to diminish the impact of their past convictions and facilitates their integration into society. Legal advice or assistance can be crucial in navigating this complex process, ensuring the highest possibility of a successful outcome.

You may consider using Pardons Canada (pardons.org) to assist in the pardon, file destruction and US waiver application process. Pardons Canada (pardons.org) has been helping Canadians for over 35 years and has an expert staff of over 25 employees at their head office to gather and prepare all of the necessary documentation for the application process.  You can speak to any counselor at 1877-929-6011 extension 1 and they would be happy to provide a free consultation on your specific case.

Verified By Professional
Andrew Tanenbaum
Pardons Canada

Legal Services

Industry

Legal Services

Verified Payment - We have successfully processed payment from this account


More Articles

What happens if you are denied entry to the US with a criminal record

#LEGAL SERVICES

Being denied entry to the United States with a criminal record from Canada can have significant consequences and implications. This comprehensive article, from a legal standpoint, aims to elucidate what happens when a Canadian citizen or resident is denied entry to the U.S. due to a criminal record, the legal framework...

How to apply for a US waiver

#Legal Services

Applying for a U.S. Entry Waiver from Canada is a significant process for Canadian citizens or residents with a criminal record who wish to enter the United States. A U.S. Entry Waiver is a document issued by the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), granting temporary permission to enter the U.S. despite...

How to remove a DUI or impaired driving offence

#LEGAL SERVICES

Removing a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) or an impaired driving offense from a criminal record in Canada is a complex legal procedure, fundamentally involving applying for a record suspension, formerly known as a pardon. This article outlines the legal process, eligibility criteria, and other important considerations...

How to get a job with a criminal record

#LEGAL SERVICES

Securing employment with a criminal record in Canada is a challenge many individuals face. This article explores the legal landscape surrounding employment with a criminal record, strategies for overcoming potential barriers, and the rights and responsibilities of both job seekers and employers in Canada.

How to remove a peace bond

#LEGAL SERVICES

Removing a peace bond in Canada is a legal matter that may arise for individuals who have previously entered into such an agreement. A peace bond, often issued under Section 810 of the Criminal Code, is a court order that requires an individual to maintain good behavior and abide by certain conditions for a specific period,...

How to remove a theft offence

#LEGAL SERVICES

Removing a theft offense from a criminal record in Canada is a complex process that involves applying for a record suspension, previously known as a pardon. This article examines the legal framework and processes involved in removing a theft offense from a Canadian criminal record, including eligibility, application steps,...

How to remove a non-conviction

#LEGAL SERVICES

In Canada, removing a non-conviction record, which encompasses charges that did not result in a conviction, such as withdrawn, dismissed, or acquitted charges, is a distinct legal process from obtaining a record suspension (formerly known as a pardon). This article offers a legal perspective on the process, eligibility,...

How to remove an assault offence

#Legal Services

Removing an assault offense from a criminal record in Canada is a legally intricate process, primarily involving applying for a record suspension, formerly known as a pardon. This article delves into the legal aspects of removing an assault offense from one’s criminal record in Canada, outlining the process, eligibility...

How to apply for pardons

#Legal Services

Applying for a pardon, officially known as a record suspension, in Canada is a legal process that allows individuals who have completed their criminal sentence to have their criminal record kept separate and apart from other criminal records. This article provides a legal perspective on the process, requirements, and implications...

Traveling to Europe with a criminal record

#LEGAL SERVICES

Traveling to Europe with a criminal record from Canada, particularly Ontario, poses unique challenges and considerations. The dream of exploring historic landmarks, experiencing diverse cultures, and enjoying breathtaking landscapes can seem out of reach for those with past convictions. However, with the correct information...

Traveling to the US with a criminal record

#LEGAL SERVICES

Traveling to the United States with a criminal record from Canada, particularly from Ontario, can be a daunting challenge due to strict entry requirements enforced by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). However, understanding the intricacies of Ontario pardons law and leveraging resources such as Pardons Canada can...

Eligibility for a pardon or record suspension

#LEGAL SERVICES

Navigating the path to obtaining a pardon, officially known as a Record Suspension, in Ontario, Canada, is a process marked by various eligibility criteria set forth by the Parole Board of Canada. Understanding these criteria is crucial for individuals seeking to remove the stigma and limitations associated with having...

Getting a job with a criminal record

#LEGAL SERVICES

Securing employment with a criminal record can be a significant hurdle for many individuals. In Ontario, Canada, this challenge is recognized, and there are laws and resources in place to assist those looking to overcome this barrier and improve their lives through gainful employment. Organizations like Pardons Canada play...

Will a pardon allow me to travel

#LEGAL SERVICES

Traveling with a criminal record can be a significant obstacle, particularly when planning to visit countries with strict entry requirements. Many individuals with past convictions wonder whether obtaining a pardon, officially known as a Record Suspension in Canada, will facilitate easier travel, especially to destinations...

Steps to applying to a US entry waiver or I-192

#LEGAL SERVICES

Traveling to the United States with a criminal record from Canada, specifically Ontario, requires navigating through complex legal procedures to ensure smooth entry at U.S. borders. One of the pivotal steps for individuals with past convictions looking to enter the U.S. is applying for a U.S. Entry Waiver, formally known...

Steps to apply for a pardon or record suspension

#LEGAL SERVICES

Navigating the journey towards obtaining a pardon, known as a Record Suspension in Canada, can be a transformative step for individuals seeking to leave their past convictions behind and move forward with their lives. The process, governed by the Parole Board of Canada, involves several steps and requires meticulous attention...

How long does it take to remove a record suspension

#LEGAL SERVICES

Removing a criminal record in Ontario, Canada, is a process that varies in duration depending on several factors, including the type of conviction, the completion of all sentences, and the specific steps required to apply for a Record Suspension (formerly known as a pardon). Organizations like Pardons Canada play a crucial...

How to remove a stayed offence

#LEGAL SERVICES

Removing a stayed offence from one's criminal record in Ontario, Canada, involves navigating a complex legal landscape. A "stayed" offence means that the court has decided to pause or suspend the proceedings against the accused indefinitely. This typically happens when the prosecution decides not to continue the case, but...

How to apply for a record suspension

#LEGAL SERVICES

Applying for a Record Suspension, formerly known as a pardon, in Ontario, Canada, is a vital step for individuals looking to remove the stigma and barriers associated with having a criminal record. A Record Suspension allows individuals who have completed their sentence and demonstrated law-abiding behavior for a specified...