It happens often that a fight ensues between two parties (spouses, neighbours, road rage, parents, children, etc.) and the fight gets so heated that the police are called.
Once the police are called they usually end up charging those involved. Once charged, they are fingerprinted and photographed at the police station, even before they go to court.
Oftentimes, the parties do not want to press charges and the assault charge is withdrawn and a peace bond is placed in order to keep the peace.
Once you have been fingerprinted, even if the charge was withdrawn, the prints can still get in the way of employment and travel.
Here is a recent email we received from a concerned person who was charged with assault:
“Hello, I am a permanent resident living in Toronto with my wife; a few months back we had a fight and police were called in and I was arrested and taken to the station, fingerprinted and then let go – I am with my wife now on a Peace Bond going through a PARS program – I am going to India for a couple of weeks – would there be any problem leaving Canada, flying through Belgium and entering India and then coming back to Canada – I would really appreciate if you can help me out here.”
In this person’s case, the customs officer can still see that he was fingerprinted, despite the peace bond, and he can have issues at the border.
Here’s another example of an assault charge that was withdrawn:
“On Friday night I was charged with assault and was supposed to go to court this coming Thursday. On Monday morning the crown counsel reviewed the charge and decided to “withdraw” them and apologized to me. She said that they have been thrown out and that the file has been deleted and there is no record of it. My understanding is that once you have been charged even if they withdraw them quickly there is always a record that they were laid but then withdrawn even though the crown withdrew the charges voluntarily.”
“I am a nursing student and am supposed to report new charges to my school. When I asked her about this she said in her opinion I don’t have to report this since it was withdrawn in a matter of hours (since the office was closed until Monday morning and as soon as she looked it over she withdrew them). I don’t know if she is right about that though.”
“I will be applying in a few days to an employed student nurse position. The application asks “have you ever been charged or convicted of a criminal offence?” In the same application they ask you to complete a consent for a criminal record review by the justice of the peace. The criminal record review for persons working with vulnerable people looks for “convictions or any ‘outstanding charges'”. By this definition I think my criminal record review is clean. I am just wondering if I have to answer yes, even though the charges never went to court and were completely withdrawn without any conditions or anything. It doesn’t really seem fair to ask this question to begin with because I am innocent in the eyes of the law but I fear that if I answer yes I will be discriminated against.”
In this person’s case, she was NOT fingerprinted so she is safe, however if she was fingerprinted then a criminal background check will show that she was in trouble with the police even though it was withdrawn.
Its important to get a file destruction to remove the prints, photos, court and police records so that in the future when a background check is done, no one will see anything.
If you have any questions regarding this topic or about Pardons, Record Suspensions and US Entry Waivers email us at [email protected]org or call 1-877-929-6011 or 416-929-6011.