When obtaining a criminal record check in Winnipeg there are a number of situations that will lead to different information coming up. It can seem a little complicated when you try to dig through all of the information out there, so we’ve broken it down in a way that we hope will make it easier to understand.
Criminal Record Information
The Winnipeg Police have access to your criminal record information from two sources:
- The first source is their own records. If you are charged with a crime within the City of Winnipeg that has not been pardoned or purged for any reason, those records will be in the Winnipeg Police files and therefore accessible to them.
- The second source is the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC). This is a service managed by the RCMP. It contains temporary files about an individual’s alleged offences that the Winnipeg Police can access prior to a conviction. Temporary files are erased after five years if no further action is taken. It also contains information on crimes for which an individual has been convicted and not received a pardon. Police all across Canada have access to these files.
Standard vs Vulnerable Sector Criminal Record Checks
There are two main types of criminal records checks:
1) The standard type of criminal record check is quite common when applying for a job or to an educational institution in a number of different fields. An employer or agency must have your consent to complete a record check. There are three categories of standard criminal checks:
– A full criminal record check includes your name; date of birth; personal characteristics; disposition; history of convictions, withdrawals, stays and discharges.
– A criminal record synopsis includes only your name and the history of your convictions.
– A criminal name index will only say that a record may exist. This is the most common one for agencies to request.
2) The vulnerable sector criminal record check is performed when you are applying to work or volunteer with vulnerable people. Vulnerable people are those who are dependent on others due to their age or a disability, and those who are at more risk of being harmed by a person who is given authority over them. You must voluntarily consent to this kind of record check which involves a search for any sexual offences you may have committed. This includes a search for any sexual offences for which you have received a record suspension (pardon).
What Information Will Show Up On My Criminal Record Check?
After you, or an agency who has your permission, has requested a criminal record check in Winnipeg, a basic response will be provided. It will say one of the following:
- You are cleared and no records were found,
- You are not cleared and that a record may exist.
Even if a request for a full record check has been completed, the Winnipeg Police cannot confirm the existence of your criminal record, or release the details until you have provided fingerprints. After you have provided fingerprints, the records will be released to you and you are free to share them with any agencies requesting them.
If you have received an absolute discharge for a crime that you were accused of, then no record of the crime or the discharge will show on a criminal record check after one year. If you have received a conditional discharge on a crime you were accused of, it will be three years before your records are cleared of the details of the crime and the discharge.
Record Suspension (Formerly Known as a Pardon)
A record suspension does not erase your record but it places it in a separate, more heavily restricted file. Winnipeg police officers only have limited access to records that are suspended. Once you have received a record suspension, a standard criminal record check will not reveal that there was a charge, or that a pardon was received.
Only under the circumstances where you have committed a sexual offence, and you request a criminal record check to work with vulnerable people, will this information become available.
If you have received a record suspension for a crime that was committed in Winnipeg, the Winnipeg Police will be notified of the pardon and will have 90 days to seal the record of your conviction. After that time, it will not show up on a record check.
Purging of a Criminal Record
In a few situations, a criminal record may be purged and no longer show up on a criminal record check.
- For youth who have been convicted of a crime, the record will be purged when they become of age.
- If you have been involved in a charge that has been withdrawn then you can contact the Winnipeg police to request they purge the record.
- When a person turns 80 and has not been associated with criminal activity for at least 10 years (unless they were sentenced to life, classified as a dangerous offender or still under sentencing, their record will be purged).