What is the process for expungement of your Criminal Record in Canada?
Expungement of Criminal Convictions
Unlike the United States, criminal law in Canada is governed by Federal law and is applicable throughout all of the provinces of Canada. The Criminal Records Act is the Federal statute that governs “expungement” or “pardons” in Canada. The Act was amended by Bill C-10, also known as the “Safe Streets and Communities Act”, in 2012 which changed a few provisions of the Criminal Records Act. Much like the statute in Michigan, the Criminal Records Act is fairly lengthy. Some of the highlights are:
- If a person was convicted of an Indictable Offence, that person cannot apply for a pardon under this Act until at least 10 years have passed since that person has completed his/her term of imprisonment, paid his/her fines, and completed his/her term of probation;
- If a person was convicted of a Summary Conviction Offence, that person cannot apply for a pardon until at least five years have passed since that person has completed his/her term of imprisonment, paid his/her fines, and completed his/her term of probation;
- A pardon application cannot be submitted for someone who has been convicted of a sexual assault or sexually-related crime;
- Also, a person who has been convicted of more than three Indictable Offences cannot apply for a pardon;
- The person applying for the pardon cannot be convicted of a subsequent offence and must prove to the Parole Board of Canada that he/she is of good character.
There are several other requirements and parameters that must be met before you can be eligible to apply for a pardon. A lawyer with Basiga Law Firm can discuss the specific requirements that would apply to your case and guide you through the process of applying for a pardon.