Who is eligible for a pardon?
For summary offences, you become eligible for a pardon five years from the time of completing your sentence for your offence(s).
For indictable offences, you become eligible for a pardon after 10 years and with good conduct following the completion of your sentence for your offence(s).
The sentence may be a fine, jail term, surcharge, restitution, or probation. You should note that a court order prohibiting you from possessing a firearm does not constitute a sentence.
Who can grant a pardon?
Pardons are not given automatically; they are a long process that begins with making an application to the Government of Canada under the Criminal Records Act (CRA).
The complexities of this process can be time consuming. The applicant must first complete their sentence and wait the required time to prove that they’re reformed. Call toll free: 1-866-922-8159 to see if your qualified today.
Are there any limitations to a pardon?
A pardon does not negate a conviction or guarantee entry or visa privileges in other countries. Additionally, prohibition orders that are still in effect will not be erased by a pardon. A sex offender with Schedule 2 convictions will have their pardon noted on their criminal record. There is the risk of provincial and municipal government agencies (courts and police) not separating a pardoned conviction from other criminal offenses because they do not have to adhere to federal laws.
Why is there no guarantee that my pardon will never be disclosed?
The RCMP is the only police service that is bound by Federal laws. Other police services fall under provincial and/or municipal government ruling and have control over their own information systems, that include the data regarding your pardon. With that being said, police services respect the federal pardon system and generally will not disclose you pardoned criminal record as long as the appropriate steps are taken by the RCMP to inform the police. Upon evidence of your Pardon being completed by the government, staff may have your criminal records expunged/purged at the provincial and municipal levels under federal mandamus.
If I have multiple convictions, do I need a separate pardon for each conviction?
No – those who meet the eligibility requirements for all offences, and a pardon is granted, all the convictions are removed at the same time and closed.
How long will it take to obtain a pardon?
This depends on multiple factors related to how fast police departments and courts respond to requests for information. You don’t need a representative to apply for a pardon, as this process cannot be expedited. A representative can, however, make filling the forms faster.
After obtaining all the records, the performance standards set by the PBC – Parole Board of Canada – indicate that summary offences can take up to 6 months, while indictable offences can take up to 12 months. If you would like more information on obtaining a pardon, contact us toll free: 1-866-922-8159.
What are the legal effects of a pardon?
When you receive a pardon, your criminal record is removed from the Canadian Police Information Centre. Once the pardon has been granted, the RCMP will request that the investigative and/or charging police force restrict the circulation of the record.
Can a pardon be revoked or stop having effect, and what are the consequences?
After a pardon has been granted, a pardon can be revoked if: (a) the person is convicted of a summary offense under the federal act or regulation of Canada; (b) the Government of Canada determines the person is no longer of good conduct (c) The RCMP discovers a false or deceptive statement was made, or relevant information was concealed during the application process. If a pardon is revoked, it will be turned to CPIC along with other conviction records. Pardon Canada can help you if your pardon is revoked. Simply contact us toll free: 1-866-922-8159 to get the help you need.
If a prior pardon was revoked or ceased to have effect, can I apply for another pardon?
A person can apply for another pardon once the eligibility requirements are met for the newest offence.
What is the difference between obtaining a pardon and a U.S. entry waiver?
There are several differences between the two:
- While a person is only eligible to apply for a pardon after completing the sentence ordered and waiting the mandated time period based on the charge, any Canadian is eligible to apply for a U.S. entry waiver after they’ve finished serving their sentence(s) without any waiting period.
- Canadians who have been convicted of schedule 1 offences (sexual offence involving a child) and/or have been convicted of more than 3 offences prosecuted by indictment (each with a minimum sentence of 2 years) are ineligible for a record suspension. A U.S. entry waiver, on the other hand, is open to everyone, except for those serving a sentence or in trial, or deemed at high risk to reoffend.
- A pardon gives you the opportunity to keep your criminal record separate indefinitely or until revoked, but a waiver lasts for 1, 2, or 5 years, and must be renewed.
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