Committing a criminal act is a serious offence, and in some cases, that act may have negative repercussions for some members of the public, such as injury, or even death. Because of that, a criminal conviction entails a serious penalty that must be paid. In some instances, probationary time is also required to carefully monitor a transition back into society and ensure that lessons have been learned and that there is no danger of repeating an offence.
So while both Canadian society and law take criminal acts very seriously, there is an understanding that a debt, once paid, is considered closed. A person, once a criminal sentence has been served, is free to resume a normal, law abiding life, but in some ways, there is still an influence left from that criminal act, and that is the criminal record itself.
Career & Travel Limitations
A criminal record remains in the database of the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC), and is publicly available to anyone willing to pay the fees for a background check. Once a background check is conducted, the record of the arrest and the nature of the conviction will be available for anyone to view. This can have a major impact on an employer’s willingness to hire a qualified candidate, especially if there are similarly qualified candidates with no such issues.
But a criminal record can also impact travel options. The USA, for instance, has a Customs & Border Patrol that routinely conducts backgrounds checks at their own discretion. If a criminal record is found, the CBP has the legal power to permanently deny entry to someone with a record.
Your Criminal Record Doesn’t Have To Be Permanent
While the possible consequences of a criminal record have a lasting impact on career and travel options, it doesn’t have to be this way for the rest of a person’s life. A record suspension, also known as a pardon, is the Canadian government’s way of giving a reformed, law abiding citizen a “clean slate.” In other words, a pardon can clear your criminal record.
Technically, this pardon to clear your criminal record isn’t 100% complete. The presence of a criminal record will be removed from the CPIC. This means that for a member of the public paying for the usual background check, nothing will appear for their results. From a public perspective, your criminal conviction no longer exists.
There are, however, certain exceptions to this rule. For example, someone with a conviction of a sexual offence against a minor cannot get a pardon to clear a criminal record. And even for people with a sexual offence not related to a minor, a pardon to clear a criminal record will not apply to an application in what is considered a “vulnerable sector.” This means that while a record suspension will show nothing for someone that applies as a job for a mechanic job in an auto-repair shop, someone volunteering to work at a women’s shelter will come up as a “red flag,” if the conviction was for a sexual offence.
A Lengthy Process
A pardon or record suspension to clear your criminal record is not something that takes place quickly. There are a lot of different factors to take into consideration before a record suspension can be issued, and a criminal record can be cleared from the CPIC. If a jail sentence is involved, that time must be served. If there is a probationary period, that must be completed as well.
Depending on the nature of the offence, whether it was summary or indictable, once all sentence/probationary obligations have been met, it may be another 5-10 years of good behavior in society, with no additional arrests or offences, before a record suspension can be applied for.
We’ll Get You There
A pardon to clear your criminal record is the whole focus of our organisation. We know exactly what to do at each step of the process to maximise your chances of getting approved for a record suspension. If you’re interested in getting a clear background check for both your professional and travel opportunities, contact us so we can go over the exact details of your situation.
Everyone is different and will have different conditions and timelines to take into consideration. With experienced, professional guidance, we can get you the record suspension that will open up all the opportunities you aspire to.