What is a record suspension
A Record Suspension (formerly known as pardon) is a forgiveness order that keeps a convicted person’s criminal record separate and apart from other criminal records. This means a person’s convictions will not be disclosed on criminal record checks. It does not remove a criminal record but it permits individuals who have made positive life changes to be released from negative impacts of their previous criminal records. It completely erased an individual’s criminal record from the Canadian Police Information Center (CPIC) collection of criminal data. Which means that when someone searches CPIC records ever again, it will not show that the person has criminal record or a record suspension. It would help the person to get employment and educational opportunities and help the person to readjust in society.
The Criminal Records Act (CRA) is implements only to those records which held by federal departments, but most departments like provincial and criminal justice agencies restrict access to their records once they are informed that a record suspension has been ordered.
Parole Board of Canada (PBC)
The Parole Board of Canada (PBC) is the official and only federal department who is responsible for granting, denying and revoking record suspensions for convictions under Criminal Acts or regulations of Canada. A record suspension does not erase a convicted offence, but sets it aside and it does not guarantee entry or visa privileges to another country. The board determines every single pardon application to check what type offences were committed and thereby determines if the applicant have to wait for three, five or ten years before applying for a suspension. If the individual is not eligible, application is returned to the applicant.
Benefits of getting a record suspension
Under some circumstances, it’s very important for a person to clean his/her criminal record. If anybody has a criminal record, he/she would not be eligible to become a Canadian citizen or be able to contract with the federal Government. In some professions such as lawyers, paralegals, school teachers, army workers and others they must requires that an individual must not have a criminal record. Persons who has a criminal record are usually at a serious disadvantage when looking for an employment, job promotion, volunteer work, getting bonded, apartment rental, child custody, adoption, mortgage approval and educational opportunities. A criminal record also obstructs foreign travel, including travel to the U.S. A record suspension removes disqualifications caused by a criminal conviction. Once obtaining a record suspension, all information belongs to convictions will be taken out of the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC).
Good conduct means a behaviour that is constant with and indicates a lifestyle in which legality exists in ever conduct. It’s the duty of the applicant is to obtain documentation and provide the Board an adequate, reliable and verifiable information which determines good conduct. The type of documents, materials and information that may be required contains:
- information about an incident that resulted in a charge that was afterwards withdrawn, stayed, or dismissed, or that resulted in a peace bond, in the use of alternative measures or in the acquittal of the applicant;
- record of absolute or conditional discharges;
- information about convictions under provincial, territorial and federal Acts;
- exchange of relevant personal information with justice system participants as explained in the Criminal Code about suspected or alleged criminal behaviour;
- representations provided by, or on behalf of, the applicant;
- any information submitted to the Board by other individuals, for example victims, with any knowledge of the case;
- with respect to applicants convicted of a sex offence, any information received from law enforcement departments further investigations done by the Board.
If the eligibility period apply for a suspension is five or ten years, the applicant is obliged for declaring to the Board that the pardon would provide them with a measurable benefit and would sustain his or her rehabilitation in society as a law-abiding citizen. Some examples of how the applicant can declare is includes by:
- getting employment;
- obtaining residence/ improving their life styles;
- getting an education;
- removing stigma/ changing others perceptions;
- social and/or personal improvement;
- Stability in financial condition.
- making a positive contribution in society;
- having a lifestyle that is no longer associated with criminal behaviour;
- taking responsibility for offences and sentences;
- taking steps to assure there is no chance of recurrence;
- identifying a support system;
- identifying pro social relationships and social networks.
You do not need to apply for a suspension if charges against you are dismiss, stay or withdraw, or result in a conviction. If charges do not result in a conviction, but your record is on the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) system you can contact the arresting police officer and ask the RCMP department to return your fingerprints and all information taken at the time of arrest for devastation. Anyhow, the police forces has authority to refuse your request.
Retention and Destruction of Non-Conviction Information for Adults
Non-conviction information means the criminal charges with court orders other than “guilty”. These judgements includes withdrawals, acquittals, stay of proceedings, peace bonds, and findings of not guilty. A new Policy for the Retention and Destruction of Non-Conviction Information for adults has been introduced by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which summarizes the criteria used by the RCMP to determine whether non-conviction information obtained in the National Repository of Criminal Records is retained or destroyed.
Contact Akrami and Associates
If you want to know something more regarding record suspension matters, feel free to book an appointment to consult our representative at Akrami & Associates to assist with in record suspension issues. Please give us a call at 416-477-2545.
With Akrami and Associates, there is always a way.