Absolute and Conditional Discharges in Canada
Apr 12, 2022 By Matthew Friedberg
A discharge is a legal sentence in Canada set out in section 730(1) of Canada’s Criminal Code. Both absolute and conditional discharges are a finding of guilt but not a conviction. This means that someone who receives a discharge has either pled guilty, or been found guilty after a trial, to one or more offences. Unlike all other possible sentences after a finding of guilt in our justice system, there is no criminal conviction if an offender receives an absolute or conditional discharge.
A criminal record only exists if an individual has a conviction. Therefore, an absolute or conditional discharge does not result in a criminal record.