We have many people call us who have a conditional or absolute discharge, stayed, withdrawn or dismissed criminal charges. Often, they believe that because of the nature of the punishment that they do not have a criminal record. This is not entirely true.
If you have been given a conditional or absolute discharge or if the criminal charges have been stayed, dismissed, withdrawn or diversion, it means that you have been fingerprinted by the police and gone to court and there are police records.
When employers do criminal record checks they WILL see that you have been printed by the police regardless of whether the criminal charges ended up in a conviction. This will often impede your ability to get the job because the employer is already suspicious, even though you may not even have been guilty.
It is important to get a full file destruction to remove your prints, photos, court and police information when you have been given a conditional or absolute discharge or if your criminal charges were stayed, dismissed or withdrawn.
Here is an email we received from someone who had a conditional discharge and could not get work because her criminal record was still showing up with employers:
“The following is the situation that I’m currently dealing with. I was wondering if I can get some guidance on what steps I should take. In approximately 2003 I was charged with impaired driving as well as failing to appear. The impaired driving charge was dismissed after trial by judge. The failing to appear resulted in a conditional discharge for a short time of community service and probation.”
“I have completed the conditions, however I have never received any paper work to prove this. I was unaware that I had a criminal record and have applied for 2 jobs in which I signed a form for a police check.”
“I checked the no box because I had no idea this was on there. I did not gain employment with either job even though I was sure to be hired. I was not informed by either company that anything appeared during their search, however it now seems likely that they have indeed found something.”
“The police checks were done by Loblaws and ACC. Both for minimum wage positions. Why would such a low paying job require a police check? Why would a conditional discharge on a charge like failing to appear be viewed as a reason not to hire someone for a minimum wage job?”
“Especially since I failed to appear to court on a charge of impaired driving that after I defended myself at trial was dismissed. Why are these companies able to ask if you have a record for a cashier job? Is this not discrimination? Or a human rights violation? The charge has nothing to do with theft or fraud. If I had checked yes and explained this charge would it have mattered? Or would they still not hire me over something so small? ”
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.