A Record Suspension is one of the leading ways for those that have been convicted of a crime to have the record removed, and their name cleared ready for them to be reintegrated back into society. Formerly called a Pardon, a Record Suspension can help open doors that may have otherwise remained closed, and can help you get on with your life without people being able to find out about your past.
One of the most common questions we receive regarding Record Suspensions is the time period in which a Record Suspension is still required, and so within this post, we’ll examine the subject of completing a Record Suspension for criminal records that are several decades old.
Record Suspensions Always Required Regardless of Time
In Canada, criminal records are not automatically destroyed or sealed after a specific amount of time. This puts the onus on the individual to have their record suspended through the proper legal channels. This has been highlighted several times recently, as Canadians are stopped at the U.S. border and turned around back to Canada as a result of a crime they committed decades ago. It’s an issue that highlights the importance of beginning the Record Suspension process as soon as possible.
Even if you’ve been fingerprinted for a crime without being charged, you still require your records removed from the system. It’s an issue that has prevented thousands from making trips across the border to the United States in recent years, as their criminal records meant they had to remain in Canada during vacation time. And so if you’re one of the many Canadians in this position, it’s important to learn more about the Record Suspension process.
What You Need to Know About Record Suspensions
A Record Suspension or File Destruction must be completed in order to remove all record of a crime having been committed according to your personal file. Organizations such as Pardons Canada can perform all the required steps for a person taking on this process, including completing the required documentation and communicating with the various agencies involved with Record Suspensions in Canada. In order to begin the Record Suspension process, the following must be considered:
- You must have been convicted of an offence in Canada
- You must have completed the sentence handed to you for your offence and have no outstanding fines
- You must have completed the required waiting period to begin the Record Suspension process. This waiting period is 5 years or more for summary offences and 10 years or more for indictable offences.
Do I Need a Record Suspension?
One important element to consider is that some Canadians convicted of a crime many years ago may not require a Record Suspension to move forward with their lives. There are cases in which a person may have committed a crime without a lasting record of that crime being taken. These include the following:
- You were convicted as a young offender in a youth court. These records are automatically destroyed after a set period of time.
- You have received a conditional discharge or absolute discharge. Those who have been through or are going through the discharge process must follow the rules regarding the discharge to ensure their record is removed. However it will still need to be removed on a local level with a File Destruction
What Actions Must I Take Before Applying for a Record Suspension?
Before applying for a Record Suspension directly, it’s important to work with a trusted legal specialist such as Pardons Canada to learn more on the Record Suspension process. Qualified legal experts can help those going through this process to avoid mistakes that might prolong the period before their records are suspended.
Traveling abroad is only one way that a criminal record can affect your life. You may also be denied employment opportunities under specific circumstances or not be able to join certain clubs or organizations. Whatever the situation, a clean criminal record is the best possible outcome.
Our trusted team is available now to help guide you in completing your Record Suspension. To learn more, call us today!