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Clear Your Record Using Federal Pardon Services In Canada

Clear Your Record Using Federal Pardon Services In CanadaOnce you’re eligible to apply for a record suspension, there is no reason to let your past mistakes affect your future. Having a criminal record can hinder a person’s ability to travel, work, and live a fulfilling worry-free lifestyle. Under the Criminal Records Act, the Parole Board of Canada is the official and only federal agency responsible for making record suspension decisions. They reserve the right to order, refuse to order, and revoke a record suspension. Formerly known as a pardon, a record suspension keeps the judicial record of a conviction separate and apart from other criminal records, allowing people convicted of a crime to pass a background check and reintegrate themselves into their respective communities. While the rules surrounding the application process have become stricter, there are several federal pardon services and national non-profit organizations like Pardons Canada that are dedicated to assisting individuals in removing past criminal offences from their public record.



What Happens Once A Record Suspension Has Been Granted?


After a pardon or record suspension has been granted, it is sealed away from public access, meaning that there will be no trace of your criminal record. When a background check is done after a record suspension has been granted, it will come up clean, showing no criminal charges or convictions on your public record or RCMP report also known as a CPIC report. A record suspension also removes disqualifications caused by a criminal conviction, such as the ability to contract with the federal government or the eligibility for Canadian citizenship.   Criminal background checks for employment purposes will also be clear once the record suspension is approved.



Will I be safe to travel to the US once my pardon has been granted?


If you have a criminal record you can be denied entry to the USA as their policy is to deny entry to any non US citizen who has a criminal record.  Once a record suspension is granted, assuming you have never been stopped at the US border, it is likely that you will be safe to travel without being denied.  If you have already been denied entry to the US and then seek to obtain a record suspension, you will still be denied entry even when a record suspension is granted as the Americans do no recognize Canadian pardons.  If you have been denied entry to the US, then you will need a US Entry Waiver to return to the US.

However, if a person is convicted of a new offence, the information may lead to a reactivation of the file in the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC). Only people who have served their sentences, paid their fines, and exhibited crime-free behaviour for the waiting period associated with the severity of their crime are eligible to apply for a record suspension.



If I Was Charged, But Not Convicted, Is My Record Clean?


There are many instances in which a person is charged of a crime, but not convicted. While the RCMP recommends that non-conviction records be routinely deleted or segregated in police databases, a local police department can choose to retain that sensitive information. Despite being found innocent or having the charges dropped altogether, a background check could still produce report of the charge if the local police service decides to keep the information in their database. It is possible to make an application to remove your prints, photos and police records, however, the police department may choose to deny that request for specific reasons.


Applying for a record suspension can be stressful and time-consuming. The ten-step application process involves gathering and processing documents from several different sources. Original documents from courts and police must be submitted along with the record suspension application.  Any sort of misrepresentation on your application can lead to your application being denied or your record suspension being revoked at a later date. Since applicants are responsible for the processing fee ($631), along with any additional fees required as part of your record suspension application (fingerprints, police checks, criminal records, court documents, etc.), many people opt to receive professional help when applying. Federal services and national non-profit organizations like Pardons Canada take the hassle and stress out of the application process, gathering and processing all of the necessary documents to help clear your criminal record. People who have reintegrated back into their communities make better parents, citizens, and neighbours. 


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