How to get a Record Suspension (Pardon) in Canada
The Parole Board of Canada (PBC) has exclusive jurisdiction to grant, refuse to grant or to revoke a record suspension (formerly known as pardon). Canada’s Criminal Records Act (CRA) outlines the authority and requirements for record suspensions- providing relief for persons who have been convicted of offences and have since rehabilitated themselves. Pardons Canada has a process to help individuals with past criminal records to erase their past.
Even if you were not found guilty or convicted, your fingerprint number (FPS#) will be revealed in criminal record searches unless you have your record destroyed. If you were ever convicted of even one offence than you require a record suspension.
The Process and Shortcomings
The process of obtaining a pardon and record suspension can be lengthy requiring a lot of paperwork and processing. Many people don’t have the time or expertise to attempt this process on their own – and unintentional mistakes can delay or disrupt the process.
In 2012, the Canadian Government passed an Omnibus Crime Bill that makes it more difficult and expensive to obtain pardons or record suspensions. In 2013 the error rates for pardon applications increased from 25% to 45%. In order to overcome the bureaucratic process, you need an expert well versed in the system to help navigate your application and avoid any unnecessary process delays.
A person can apply for a pardon or record suspension if he/she was convicted of an offence under a federal act or regulation of Canada. A person may apply even if he/she is not a citizen of resident of Canada and/or was convicted in another country and transferred to Canada under the Transfer of Offenders Act.
Although anyone is entitled to prepare their own application- most choose to hire an experienced lawyer since it’s a lengthy process and rules can change from time to time without notice.
Call Donna V. Pledge at 416 630 8702 who has helped many clients to restore their lives enabling them to have peace of mind when applying for jobs, tenancy, citizenship and the freedom to travel.