Obtaining a Criminal Pardon

The Canadian Human Rights Act forbids discrimination based on a record suspended conviction, which includes services a person needs or the opportunity to work for a federal agency.

The Criminal Records Act states that no employment application form within the federal public service may ask any question that would require an applicant to disclose a conviction. This also applies to a Crown corporation, the Canadian Armed Forces, or any business within the federal authority.

However, a record suspension will not cancel prohibition orders, regarding driving or firearms possession, imposed under the Criminal Code.

Anyone convicted of an offense as an adult under a federal act or regulation in Canada may apply for a record suspension, whether that person is a Canadian citizen or a resident of Canada. A person may also apply if he or she was convicted in another country and was transferred to Canada under the Transfer of Offenders Act. However, anyone convicted of a sexual offense involving a child (under Schedule 1 of the Criminal Records Act) or has more than three offenses prosecuted by indictment each with a prison sentence of two years or more is ineligible for a record suspension.

A record suspension is not required when charges were dismissed, stayed, or withdrawn, and did not result in a conviction. However, if the record is on the RCMP system, an individual may contact the arresting police force and request that the RCMP return the fingerprints and all of the information obtained at the time of the arrest for destruction. The RCMP can deny a request to destroy a non-conviction record if one or more of the following conditions apply:

• The applicant was not an adult relative to the charge as defined within the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

• The applicant has a criminal conviction on file within the RCMP’s National Repository of Criminal Records.

• The applicant has an outstanding criminal charge before the courts.

• The appeal period has not expired for a non-conviction record relating to an acquittal or a dismissal.

• One year has not elapsed for a non-conviction record relating to either a peace bond or a stay of proceedings.

In addition to these conditions, a non-conviction record will be retained for a minimum of five years from the date of the court decision if the charge is related to the following:

• High treason or treason.

• Potential terrorist activity.

• First- and second-degree murder.

• Manslaughter.

• Aggravated assault.

• Sexual offenses.

The non-conviction record will also be retained for a minimum of five years when an individual is found not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder.

If you want to clear your name legally, read Obtaining a Criminal Pardon by Christopher Guly and learn how to obtain a criminal pardon in Canada and the US. The book is available on our website, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and in better bookstores across Canada and the US.

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