Approximately 10% of Canadians have criminal records.
An individual who receives a conviction under the Criminal Code of Canada will receive a criminal record. This record is held until the individual reaches 80, or sometimes 100 years old.
Employers, community agencies and educational institutions are all entitled to request record checks. This impacts prospective employees, volunteers and students. Therefore even after one has served a prison term, a criminal record may continue to have negative ripple effects on one's life.
What is a Pardon?
A pardon, now known as a "record suspension", provides an individual with a criminal conviction an opportunity, after the passage of a set amount of time to have their criminal record suspended and removed.
The Parole Board of Canada is the authority that oversees the suspension of criminal records. If an application to the Parole Board is approved, an individual with a criminal record receives a fresh start, so to speak. However, the Parole Board reserves the right to cancel, refuse or revoke record suspensions under federal law.
When can one apply for a Pardon?
The following criterion must be met before an individual may submit an application for a record suspicion:
- Completed all sentences of imprisonment, including paid all fines and restitution orders in full; and
- Abided by the waiting period for the completion of all sentences. The waiting period is as follows:
- 5 years for a summary offence
- 10 years for an indictable offence
Applying for a Pardon "Record Suspension"
Although one does not need a lawyer or other representative to apply for a record suspension, navigating the parole process is complex. Often, cases before the Parole Board of Canada take a number of years to be completed. Even then, there is no guarantee. Receiving a record of suspension is an arduous process with many stipulations regarding the applicant's eligibility.
If you wish to receive a record suspension to regain employment and full travel eligibility, we encourage you to contact us at (416) 924-5969.
Caramanna, Friedberg LLP can help guide you through the winding process, increasing your chances of approval.
See also charter applications, coroner's inquests, fingerprint destruction