Many people believe that if they have received a conditional or absolute discharge for a criminal offence, then the charges will eventually “disappear” and they will never have to worry about it again in the future.
This is WRONG, and we hear about it every day how criminal background checks for employment and travel purposes are continuing to show old criminal charges including absolute, conditional discharges as well as stayed, dismissed or withdrawn criminal charges.
Its true, that a Pardon is only required for criminal convictions, however, you MUST apply for a file destruction in the case of an absolute or conditional discharge or a stayed, withdrawn or dismissed criminal charge. By doing this, you will remove your prints, photos, court and police records from public access.
If you have been denied entry to the US because of a criminal charge, (regardless of whether you have a Pardon), you will require a US Entry Waiver (I-192 or I-194) to re-enter the US. This application is complicated and lengthy in process.
By getting a file destruction of Pardon in advance of traveling to the US, you may NOT require a US Entry Waiver depending on the offence.
Here is an example of a recent email we received from a person who was turned away at the US Border because of a conditional discharge:
“I was recently denied entry into the US for a charge I had 20yrs ago. I had a copy of my police abstract with me, as well as a letter from the Ontario Court House where my fine was handled. My police abstract states that I have no criminal record, my letter from the court house states they have no record of my charge. I was given a conditional discharge, with 1 year of probation.”
” The documents I provided saying I’m not a criminal nor do I have a record were not enough for the border. They denied me stating they need to know how it was handled ie was it an indictable offense. The courthouse has no records, I have no idea what to do. I was represented by duty council so there is no record available. What do I do now?”
If you have any questions regarding this topic or about Pardons and US Entry Waivers email us at [email protected] or call 1-877-929-6011.