3 Common Mistakes When Applying for a Record Suspension
For individuals who’ve been convicted of a criminal offense, applying for a Pardon (Canadian Record Suspension) can be one of the best things to do after their sentence has been served out in its entirety. However, mistakes can be made when applying for a Record Suspension that should be avoided.
With a record, individuals potentially face challenges finding employment, housing, and it can even prevent them from traveling to the U.S. But once a Record Suspension has been granted, individuals gain the ability to put their criminal record behind them, where it belongs.
Therefore, when an application is denied or returned as incomplete, for whatever reason, it’s easy to see why an individual might feel disappointed, let down, and heart broken.
Below, we’ll take a look at some of the most common mistakes made by individuals when applying for a Record Suspension in Canada.
#1) Eligibility for a Record Suspension
It’s important to understand that the application process for Record Suspensions can be rather confusing to navigate. And with that, one of the biggest mistakes an individual can make is to apply for a Record Suspension when they are ineligible.
To be eligible for a Record Suspension in Canada, an individual must have previously served out their sentence in its entirety, wait the appropriate waiting period, and also must provide all forms of documentation as required by the Criminal Records Act.
It’s also important to note that individuals who’ve been convicted of a violent crime or a sexual crime against a minor may not be eligible for a Record Suspension.
#2) Incorrect or Missing Government Filing Fee
As set out by the Criminal Records Act, the government’s filing fee to apply is $644.88, and this payment must be paid in full at the time the application is submitted by any individual wishing to apply for a Record Suspension in Canada. This fee does not include various costs associated with preparing the actual application related to fingerprinting, courts & police.
Payments for Record Suspension applications must be made payable to the Receiver General for Canada, and are accepted via a credit card payment, certified cheque, money order, or with a bank draft.
If any fees are missing or incorrect, the application will be returned to the applicants as incomplete.
#3) Missing or Inaccurate Information
Record Suspension applicants must provide all documentation as required by the Criminal Records Act, as well as any additional references, letters, or affidavits, which may be requested by the government of Canada.
Some, but not all, of the required information required includes:
- Court Information – Applicants must submit Court Information for each of their convictions. This information must include proof of any fines, restitution, victim surcharges, or compensation that have been paid.
- Proof of Conviction – An individual’s Criminal Record must include ALL their convictions.
- Names and Signatures – If any names or signatures are missing from any application forms or documents, the application will not be processed.
- Official Stamps – Local police records, court forms, and other legal documents must include all official stamps or seals.
- Proof of Identity – Any photocopies of an individual’s proof of identity must be clearly legible.
If any information or documents are missing, inaccurate, false, or illegible, the application will be returned to the individual as incomplete.
Ensuring an Accurate Record Suspension Application
For Record Suspension applicants, it’s important to realize that there is a wide range of informational factors that may affect the application process.
Ranging from having completed sentencing to providing all required documents and affidavits, through to adhering to waiting times and paying all processing fees, it’s important that an individual has a solid understanding of the process before applying.
In the end, the best way to make sure an application is submitted properly is to work with an accredited firm who has plenty of experience helping individuals through the process.
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About the Author
Joel LaForest is a Research Analyst with Pardon Applications of Canada and the owner of The Hobo Marketing Co., specializing in writing about law, finance, health, and wealth.