by Jim Houston, Pardon & Waiver Officer with Pardon Applications of Canada
An individual with a criminal record in Canada seeking a Pardon application must first make the decision to retain an accredited service or attempt the application process on their own. There are potential advantages to both sides.
This articles focuses on 3 risks in completing your Pardon Application on your own:
1. Knowing Your Pardon Eligibility
There are many criteria that can account for eligibility to be granted a Pardon, or even to apply for a Pardon. Not knowing exactly what can make you eligible or ineligible can be tricky, as laws and requirements are evolving. If you submit your application and it is denied because you weren’t aware of all the exact eligibility requirements, the loss of time, money and overall disappointment can be disheartening. An accredited Pardon service will know your exact eligibility based on current laws. You can always start by getting a free email qualification report in minutes.
2. Misunderstanding the Pardon Application Process
The Criminal Records Act (CRA) has a very specific set of rules and very strict guidelines pertaining to the required documentation to be submitted for a Pardon. There could be potentially several months of time spent on obtaining documents (depending on the length of the individual’s criminal record). Not to mention Local Police Record checks, if any affidavits become necessary, or if something is discovered and a back-step has to be taken for more documentation. If attempting the application process on your own without considerable experience in the process can be stressful and overwhelming.
The Pardon process takes time to complete correctly. When you have a criminal record, and you hear the term ‘application’, most get into the mindset of a ‘job application’. Fill out a form, send it in, Pardon Granted! And this is a common misconception. In reality, the application process takes time to complete correctly and involves correspondence with police, courts and other third party agencies – all of whom work on their own due diligence and cannot be expedited. An accredited Pardon service will be able to maximize the efficiency of each step and avoid costly errors.
The most prominent risk, and every applicant’s fear, is a denial of their Pardon application. And it is an absolutely justifiable fear. One wrong document, or one signature missed and the application could be returned with notes to fix the mistakes or denied completely. This could lead to the loss of both time and money. An accredited Pardon service maximizes the opportunity for acceptance.
Ultimately, applying for a Pardon is a big step and one to be commended, however, the quality and accuracy of your application is paramount. Unless you have legal/documentation experience, consider retaining a credible Pardon service to make sure your application is done perfectly and efficiently the first time. Similar to representing yourself in court, it’s generally not worth the risk.
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Jim Houston is an A+ Accredited Pardon (Record Suspension) & U.S. Waiver Officer with Pardon Applications of Canada. Established in 2011, the private firm with nationwide offices in Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa & Toronto has responded to and processed more than 75,000 record suspension inquiries and applications. Pardon Applications of Canada is A+ Accredited via the Better Business Bureau, uses RCMP Accredited fingerprints and has real reviews by actual applicants. Communication and transparency are at the heart of the Pardon Applications of Canada service.