Here are 10 reasons why you may consider seeking an Ontario criminal record pardon (this is now called a “Record Suspension”) to expunge or erase your criminal record.
It is becoming more of a prerequisite for many types of employment that a criminal record check be completed before you are considered. Getting a pardon can eliminate the possibility of being overlooked for a job you deserve.
Just because you are self-employed does not mean a criminal record will not affect you. Before sub-contracting to an individual or to a business, many companies now require criminal record searches for all employees and owners.
Before you are awarded a promotion, many companies conduct criminal record checks on those who have applied for career advancements. A criminal record may lead to you being refused the promotion, or may result in your dismissal.
Crossing The Border
The United States does not recognize Canadian pardons, however, getting a pardon will remove your record from CPIC and therefore make it non-existent to the American border crossing authorities.
If the possibility to work or study abroad presents itself a criminal record can impose unnecessary burden. Also, Canadian Immigration (“CIC”) often rejects applications for refugee status, landed status and citizenship.
Many organizations require you complete a criminal record check before you are able to volunteer. Do not miss an opportunity to go on a class trip with your child, coach a sports team or become involved in your community because you have a criminal record.
Custody of Your Children
The existence of a criminal record can be an important factor in custody battles and separation proceedings. Your child custody and visitation rights may be reduced or eliminated because of a criminal record.
In the event that you are charged with a further impaired driving offence, a pardon will wipe your record and lead to that offence being treated as a first. This can mean the difference between serving jail time and paying a fine.
Many rental application forms ask if you have a criminal record. It may be difficult to find a place to rent if you have a criminal record. A pardon will eliminate this burden.
Peace of Mind
Give yourself the peace of mind knowing that your criminal record no longer exists. We will walk you through the sometimes complicated procedure so you can continue life without worry that your past will surface at any time to haunt you from a distant past.
What is the first step in the pardon process?
The first step is to get your CPIC record. Once convicted, the offender’s criminal record is stored in the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database of all past and current criminal proceedings. The RCMP maintains the data but it is accessible to the local and provincial police authorities, Interpol, and the American Customs & Border Patrol. A potential employer can also conduct a background check through the CPIC without your consent. For some jobs, a criminal background check is mandatory.
How do I get my CPIC record expunged, aka get my record pardon?
A criminal record has far-reaching consequences, such as employment or travel opportunities. The Parole Board of Canada can grant a record suspension (or “pardon”) separating your past criminal records from the current data. Your record is not destroyed, rather it is obscured, allowing you to get job or enter another country. Depending on the nature of your conviction, the PBC can take six or 12 months process your application.
Are there any eligibility requirements?
Yes, there are some prerequisites to a record suspension. The applicant has to demonstrate that he has completed his sentence and is a law-abiding person. The applicant has to wait a certain amount of time before applying for a pardon.
- Five months – Withdrawn, dismissed or acquitted.
- One year – Absolute discharge, stay or peace bond.
- Three years – Conditional discharge.
- Five years – Summary conviction.
- Ten years – Indictment conviction.
What would make me ineligible for a record pardon?
Like the eligibility prerequisites, there are certain anti-requisites. An offence mentioned in schedule 1 cannot be pardoned. Similarly, if a person has been convicted with more than three offences proceeded by way of indictment, each with a conviction of two or more years is ineligible for pardon.
Limitations of a record pardon?
First, a pardon does not erase the offence record. Second, it does not guarantee entry to another country. Third, a pardon is flagged for a former sexual offender. This is done so that an employer in the vulnerable sector, i.e., work with the elderly or the children, can see an individual’s record suspension.
Can a record pardon be revoked?
Yes, a record pardon can be revoked if the person:
- Is convicted of a new indictable offence, or some summary offences
- Found to no longer be of good conduct
- Found to have provided misleading information when originally applied for a pardon
- Found to have been ineligible for a record suspension at the time when the record suspension was ordered.