May 10, 2022

How to Get a Record Suspension

Posted by Legal Team - Bellissimo Law Group PC

What is a Record Suspension?

A record suspension (formerly referred to as a pardon) allows people who were convicted of a criminal offence, but have completed their sentence and demonstrated they are law-abiding citizens for a prescribed number of years, to have their criminal record kept separate and apart from other criminal records.[1] A record suspension removes a person’s criminal record from the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database thereby lifting the restraints and barriers of a criminal record, particularly with respect to employment, housing, volunteer activities and travel.

Who is Eligible for a Record Suspension?

 You may apply for a Record Suspension if you:

To apply for a record suspension, you must have completed all of your sentences, which includes:

  • all fines, surcharges, costs, restitution and compensation orders;
  • all sentences of imprisonment, conditional sentences, including parole and statutory release;
  • any probation order(s).

The method of trial will decide your waiting period. Please refer here for a complete guide to determining your waiting period.

Who is Not Eligible for a Record Suspension?

You may not be eligible for a record suspension if your first offence was committed on or after March 13, 2012 and you:

  • have been convicted to a prison term of 2 years or more for more than three indictable offences; or
  • were convicted of an offence found in Schedule I of the Criminal Records Act and do not meet the exception criteria (consult here for more information).

Applying for a Record Suspension

As of January 1, 2022, the fee to apply for a record suspension is $50.00.[2] The Parole Board of Canada Record Suspension Application Guide includes step-by-step instructions and all required forms for completing a record suspension application.

Record suspensions have limitations and do not guarantee absolute protection of criminal record information. It is important for those who wish to apply for a record suspension to be aware of these limitations. For more details about eligibility, processing timelines or to find out more about how to apply for a record suspension, please see here.