No one sets out in life with the hope of having a criminal record, but sometimes these things happen. It may be because of one poor decision, a temporary lapse in judgement, or falling in with the wrong crowd, but if the end result is a criminal record, your only thought should be how to get rid of it.
Potential Consequences of a Criminal Record
A criminal record has a way of following you around, and getting in the way of how you want to live your life. You may have left your arrest and conviction in the past a long time ago, but your attempts to lead a more productive life could be thwarted by one ill-timed criminal record check. Whether you are in line for a new job, want to volunteer, or simply want to go on a vacation out of the country, having a criminal record in Canada can hold you back.
When the record check comes back, and it shows you have been convicted of a crime. That is all the information the person searching has to go on. They can’t see that you have completely changed your life, or that you are a different person, or that you are a devoted family person now. All they see is that you have a criminal record, and are left to make their own judgements and decisions. That’s why taking steps to get rid of your criminal record make so much sense.
Steps to Erase Your Criminal Record in Canada
The way that you can remove your criminal record from law enforcement databases is to be granted a Record Suspension, formerly known as a Pardon. However, the process to receive one is often lengthy, so many experts recommend starting the application process as soon as possible.
Gathering all the required documents and completing the paperwork accurately can take from 12 to 24 months. If nothing is done, your criminal record will be retained until your 125th birthday, which means it will be there hanging over you for the rest of your life. The bottom line is, if you have a criminal record, contact a professional like Pardons Canada and get the process started right away.
About Record Suspensions
Getting a Record Suspension if you have a criminal record is always a good idea. Once you have completed your sentence and demonstrated that you are a law-abiding citizen, you can have your record removed from the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database by being issued a Record Suspension.
Record Suspensions are ordered, granted, denied and revoked by the Parole Board of Canada. If the offence was sexual in nature and involved children in any way or if you were sentenced to 2+ years in jail on more than 3 occasions, you will not be eligible so a record suspension will not be awarded. If a record suspension has been ordered, and you commit an indictable offence, it may be revoked.
It’s important to note that when someone is granted a Record Suspension, the record doesn’t just vanish into thin air, it is merely sealed. If a member of the public wants to check online to see if you have a record, nothing will show up. However, certain legal agencies can still access that information under specific legal circumstances.
Traveling to the US
If you want to travel to the United States and want to be sure you get through with the least amount of trouble, it is best to receive your Record Suspension first. If you go the border and there is still a criminal record on file, you may be turned away and will need to obtain a US Entry Waiver. Once this is granted, you can present the waiver at the border, and it will let the US officials know it’s okay to let you in.
If you want to begin the process of getting rid of your criminal record in Canada, turn your attention to Pardons Canada and allow us to take control of the situation. We will advise you on the best way to proceed and will help you take the necessary actions to get the Record Suspension you deserve. If you do require a US Entry Waiver, we have experienced staff who work closely with US officials who can help you obtain a waiver and travel freely to the US.