Understanding how and when you can apply for a pardon is crucial for those looking to move past a Canadian criminal record. Pardons Canada provides expert advice and guidelines to help you navigate the complexities of a pardon application while ensuring that you can take the necessary steps toward a brighter future.
Eligibility Requirements for Pardons
Eligibility requirements for a pardon or record suspension really depend on the criminal offence. There are two types of criminal convictions, summary and indictable.
A summary offence is considered a more minor conviction and includes crimes like DUI, theft under, common assault, fraud under, uttering threats, and drug possession. Most of these offences carry punishments from simple fine payments to probation and sometimes jail. The eligibility for a pardon for a summary conviction is 5 years from the end of punishment which includes probation, jail, and fines. If you completed your probation but didn’t pay your fine, your punishment is not considered to be finished.
We sometimes get people calling Pardons Canada who have a DUI or Impaired Driving conviction, and it has been five years since the offence, but because they did not pay the fine, they apply for a pardon and even when they pay the fine they will need to then stay out of trouble for a period of 5 years from that time.
An indictable offence is considered a more serious crime like theft over, fraud over, drug trafficking, or assault causing bodily harm. Pardon eligibility for indictable convictions is 10 years from the end of punishment which can also include probation, jail, and fines.
The process to obtain a pardon can take a few years, so it’s okay to start a record suspension or pardon application early with Pardons Canada, giving us time to gather and prepare the documents needed to submit to the Canadian government for final approval.
Waiting Periods for Pardons for Non-Convictions
Even when charges do not lead to a conviction, such as in cases of withdrawn, dismissed, or acquitted charges, they can still appear on your record and potentially impact your life. These records, although not indicative of guilt, may influence employment prospects or travel opportunities and all carry with them waiting periods before pardon applications can be submitted.
For acquittals or charges that have been withdrawn or dismissed, a waiting period of five months is generally necessary to ensure all legal and administrative processes are fully resolved. Charges resulting in stayed charges, absolute discharges or most peace bonds require a one-year waiting period from the court’s decision, and in cases of conditional discharges, a longer waiting period of three years is required.
How Pardons Canada Can Assist You
Our dedicated team offers personalized support and guidance to clients seeking pardons or record suspensions. With our years of experience and extensive knowledge of the Canadian criminal justice system, we specialize in navigating the complexities of the pardon application process.
Our experts provide clear and straightforward advice to ensure you have a thorough understanding of the process and set realistic expectations. Our goal is to facilitate a smooth and quick pardon process, keeping you informed and supported every step of the way.
How Pardons Canada Can Assist You
The path to obtaining a pardon involves several critical steps, from determining your eligibility timeline based on your conviction to gathering the necessary documentation. It’s a process that requires patience, prudence and attention to detail. Contact us today to learn how our decades of experience can make a difference for you.
Pardons Canada undertakes all necessary steps and procedures for removing your criminal record, including pardons/record suspensions, purges, photograph & fingerprint destruction, and U.S. entry waivers.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have any unanswered questions, please refer to the section below and our comprehensive FAQ page.
What are the differences between summary and indictable offences?
Summary offences are generally considered less serious charges, often resulting in lesser penalties like smaller fines or shorter jail terms. Indictable offences, on the other hand, are more serious crimes such as major theft, aggravated assault, or drug trafficking. They carry more severe penalties and often require longer timelines before pardon eligibility.
What should I do if I’m not sure about my eligibility for a pardon?
If you are uncertain about your eligibility for a pardon, contact the team at Pardons Canada. We can evaluate your case, inform you about the pertinent laws and regulations, and guide you on the best course of action based on your circumstances.
Can I apply for a pardon if I have multiple criminal convictions?
Yes, individuals with multiple criminal convictions can still apply for a pardon. However, the process may be more complex. The waiting period for eligibility may be extended, and each conviction is assessed separately. It’s important to ensure that all sentences for each conviction, including fines and probation, have been fully served before applying.
Is it possible to speed up the pardon application process?
The pardon process follows a standard procedure determined by the Parole Board of Canada, and there are no official means to expedite it. The key to a smooth process is. Knowing when your eligibility begins so you can plan ahead and ensuring that your application is thorough, accurate, and complete from the start is key to a smooth process and timely approval.