How does a criminal record affect you in Canada?
A criminal record can have lasting repercussions on one’s life, affecting job prospects and travel opportunities. In Canada, a criminal record is the official documentation of a person’s involvement with the criminal justice system, resulting from convictions for offences under the Criminal Code. However, individuals with a past criminal record can find hope in the possibility of a record suspension. This legal process offers eligible individuals the chance to separate their criminal record from public access, potentially opening doors to employment and a fresh start in society.
What is a criminal record?
A criminal record is a comprehensive account of an individual’s involvement in the criminal justice system, encompassing convictions for both minor and major offences. These records remain permanent, posing significant challenges for individuals seeking employment in Canada. Many employers conduct criminal records checks as part of their hiring process, making it difficult for individuals with a criminal record to secure stable jobs. Moreover, a criminal record can complicate travel plans to the United States, requiring individuals to navigate stringent entry requirements.
Can you access someone’s criminal record in Canada?
Criminal records are accessible to various federal and provincial agencies in Canada through the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC). Additionally, specific U.S. authorities, like customs and immigration agencies, can also access these records, affecting international travel plans. This widespread accessibility poses significant challenges for individuals with criminal records seeking employment and other opportunities. However, a Record Suspension offers hope by setting aside the record from public access, allowing eligible individuals to pursue new opportunities without the burden of their past convictions.
Who is eligible for a record suspension?
To be eligible for a record suspension in Canada:
- You must have been convicted of an offence in Canada as an adult.
- You may also be eligible if you were convicted of a crime in another country and transferred to Canada while serving the sentence.
- You do not need a record suspension if you received an absolute or conditional discharge or were only convicted in a youth court.
- The waiting period varies depending on the date of the offence and the method of trial.
If your first offence was committed on or after March 13, 2012, and you have more than three indictable offences with prison terms of 2 years or more, or if you were convicted of certain offences listed in Schedule I of the Criminal Records Act, you may not be eligible.
Additionally, when applying for a record suspension in Canada, it’s crucial to be aware that the process does not affect any existing driving or weapons prohibition orders you may have.
Why is it important to understand criminal record suspension?
A criminal record suspension, often referred to as a pardon, offers a ray of hope for individuals with a criminal record who have completed their sentences and demonstrated good conduct over a prescribed period. While it does not erase the conviction, a record suspension separates the criminal record from the CPIC database, rendering it invisible in most cases. This provides individuals with a chance to reintegrate into society without the stigma of their past, enabling them to pursue employment and education opportunities with renewed confidence.
At Shory Law, our experienced criminal defence lawyers have a proven track record of successfully obtaining record suspensions for our clients. Understanding the complexities of the legal process, we advocate on your behalf to present a compelling application to the Parole Board of Canada.
If you have a criminal record and seek to rebuild your life, unrestricted by past mistakes, call us at 403-216-1199 for a free consultation. Let us help you regain control of your life and unlock new opportunities for personal and professional growth.