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How can I get a pardon / criminal record suspension?

We are glad you asked this question. This shows you care about your record and want to get it cleared as soon as possible. We support that choice! Keep reading to learn about how to go about having your record suspended.

Step One

First, you should obtain a copy of your criminal record to examine exactly what is on there. Once you have the record and agree that the information accurately reflects your record, you can continue.

Step Two

  • Gather your proof of citizenship or immigration documents.

Step Three

  • Get a photocopy of your documents to support your identification. You are required to present two pieces of valid government-issues identification and one must be a photo ID. Acceptable types of identification are:
    • passport
    • driver’s licence
    • birth certificate
    • Canadian citizenship card
    • Permanent resident card
    • Military Family ID Card
    • Record of Landing of Citizenship Applicant
    • Certificate of Live Birth
    • Nexus Card

Step Four

  • Gather and fill in the Record Suspension Application Form.

Step Five

  • Pay the $631.99 processing fee and mail in your application to the appropriate address. Note: This fee is accurate at the time this blog was written (2019).

Step Six

  • Wait for the results.

While the above steps seem simple enough, any mistake or omission will result in a return of your application. Accordingly, it is best you retain the services of one of our lawyers or paralegals at Aitken Robertson. This will help ensure that the important step of successfully obtaining a record suspension is done correctly from the start, and in a timely fashion.

When can I apply for a record suspension?

You can apply to the National Parole Board for a record suspension if you have been free of convictions for five years for summary offences or 10 years for indictable offences.

Why it is important to get a record suspension?

record suspension allows people who were convicted of a criminal offence, have completed their sentence and demonstrated that they are law-abiding citizens for a prescribed number of years to have their criminal record suspended. What this means is that a person’s criminal record is removed from the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database. This means that a search of CPIC will not show that the individual has a criminal record or a record suspension.

There is an array of obvious benefits for having a clear record. For example, a lack of a criminal record provides more unrestricted access to various employment and volunteer opportunities. Additionally, it can facilitate more travel visas for travelling, as some countries often require a criminal record check to issue a visa.

Who is responsible for record suspensions?

Under the CRA, the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) is the official and only federal agency responsible for ordering, denying and revoking record suspensions for convictions under federal acts or regulations of Canada.

Are there any limits of a record suspension?

The answer to that question is yes. A record suspension does not erase a convicted offence, but rather sets it aside. It does not guarantee entry or visa privileges to another country.

For sexual offences, sexual offenders are flagged in CPIC so that if such persons ever apply to work or volunteer with a vulnerable sector group, such as children or the elderly, a vulnerable sector check will reveal the conviction of a sexual offence.

A record suspension can be revoked or cease to have effect if you are convicted of a new indictable offence, or in some cases, a summary offence; made a false or misleading statement, or concealed information during your application for record suspension, or are found to have been ineligible for a record suspension at the time you placed an order for one. If your record suspension is revoked, then your record will be added back to the CPIC database.

If you are looking for more information about obtaining a record suspension for your particular criminal record, consult one of the lawyers at Aitken Robertson. We are happy to assist you with this matter.

Yasmine Al-Zaman

Yasmine’s patience, compassion and understanding allow her to work collaboratively and effectively with her clients. She appreciates the level of fear and confusion most people feel when confronted with the legal system. With that in mind, Yasmine puts her best foot forward to offer quality legal services.

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