Helpful Information about Pardons and Criminal Records

More than three million Canadians have had some type of criminal conviction that resulted in them having a criminal record. However, most of these people are not aware of the basic, general information regarding criminal records and how they are able to be removed from the federal database. Here you will find some basic information regarding pardons, criminal records and the latest legislation that will affect quite a few Canadians who want to eliminate their criminal record.

The Criminal Record

Anyone who receives a criminal conviction will be left with a criminal record. This is the record that will be held by the actual RCMP until the point that the person reaches the age of 80 or in some cases 100 years of age. There are a few exceptions to this rule:

  • An absolute discharge: If someone receives and absolute discharge after or on the date of July 24, 1992 it will have to be removed from the person’s criminal record after a period of one year has passed from the date of the actual sentence. The absolute discharges that were received prior to this date will have to be removed once the individual has provided written request.
  • A conditional discharge: These are removed after a period of three years has passed form the day the sentence was given.
  • Non convictions: If a person has the charges dismissed, withdrawn or stayed or they did not receive a conviction, then they will not have any type of criminal record. Even if there is no conviction the person’s information will still be held by the RCMP system. It is the person’s responsibility to request for this to be destroyed at the police station where they were arrested. Law enforcement officials have the right to not go through with this request.

It is important to understand that updates to the laws in regard to criminal convictions in Canada occur all the time. This means if someone was unable to receive a pardon in the past, they may be able to do so now, or they may not. The best option is to work with an agency that understands the process and what to do to help and ensure the pardon is give. Failure to do this may result in the person having the record forever, even if they did not have a conviction.

National Pardon Centre offers pardons and other services for Canadians. These services can help ensure that the pardon is granted and the person no longer has to worry with the criminal conviction they received.

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