“Can I get a pardon for free in Canada?” Unfortunately, the answer is no. Even if you try to navigate the pardon process on your own or hire a reputable service like Pardon Applications of Canada, there are various fees and expenses associated with the application. In this article, we’ll examine these costs in detail.
The cost of preparing your Pardon application in Canada
Obtaining Your RCMP Report
Obtaining an RCMP report is an essential first step in the process of applying for a Pardon in Canada. An RCMP report lists any criminal records you may have, including any convictions or charges that have been withdrawn, dismissed or discharged. You can request an RCMP report through your local police department for a fee, which typically ranges from $25 to $100. However, if your local police department doesn’t offer public fingerprinting services, you may need to use a third-party fingerprinting firm accredited by the RCMP, which can cost anywhere from $75 to $125 on average.
Local Police Check Requirements
In addition to the RCMP report, you must also undergo a local police check as part of the Pardon application process. The cost of this check varies depending on your local police agency, with an average cost of around $60. However, if you’ve recently moved and need to obtain police checks from multiple jurisdictions, these costs can quickly add up. It’s important to budget for these expenses when preparing your Pardon application.
Additional Fees for Sworn Declarations
Another expense to consider when applying for a Pardon in Canada is the cost of a sworn declaration. A sworn declaration is a legal document that confirms the accuracy of the information you’ve provided in your Pardon application. This document requires the services of a notary, which can add to the overall cost of your Pardon application. It’s important to budget for this additional expense when preparing your application.
Court Document Retrieval Costs
To complete your Pardon application, you’ll need to obtain court documents related to any criminal charges or convictions. While some courts may offer this information for free, others impose fees that can range from a single flat fee of $5 or $10 to a search fee and a fee for each conviction on the record, totaling up to $20 for a search and $30 for each conviction. These fees can be challenging to predict, as the price structure varies widely depending on the court.
Budgeting for Information Requests
In addition to court documents, you may need to make information requests to various organizations or government agencies to complete your Pardon application. These requests may come with additional fees, and the cost can vary depending on the organization and the nature of the request. It’s important to budget for these additional expenses when preparing your Pardon application to avoid any surprises.
Planning for Multiple Jurisdictions
If you’ve lived in multiple jurisdictions, you may need to obtain police checks and court documents from each of these areas. This can significantly increase the cost of your Pardon application, so it’s important to plan accordingly. You may want to consider obtaining all necessary documents from each jurisdiction at the same time to avoid multiple trips and additional expenses.
The Parole Board of Canada’s submission fee
When the application is prepared, the applicant must pay the submission fee to the Parole Board of Canada. The charge for submission is the same for all applicants, unlike the expenses for creating the application. However, for those who are financially unable to pay, this cost cannot be waived or lowered.
There has never been a filing fee for most of the Pardon program’s history. The Canadian government recognized that the Pardon program benefits society by reducing the number of persons barred from finding honest employment because of a criminal record. A small user charge of $50 was instituted in 1995 to defray the costs associated with approving Pardon requests. The payment was raised to $150 by the Harper government in 2010, yet even with the higher price, the great majority of Canadians could still afford to get a Pardon from Canada.
Unfortunately, the Harper administration changed the Pardon program several times in 2012. One of these modifications was a significant rise in the PBC application cost, which rose by nearly 400%, from $150 to $631.
The government asserted that the applicant would now be responsible for paying the entire $631 cost of evaluating and looking into their application. So, under the government’s calculations, a person with a single conviction for stealing a loaf of bread should pay the same fine as a person who has been found guilty of thirty offenses, regardless of how serious the offenses were.
Most individuals will consider paying the higher filing price a wise investment if it allows them to travel more freely, obtain better employment, and volunteer without fear of their criminal record getting in the way. But the $631 filing price is out of reach for many low-income people.
As a result of their criminal records, many of these individuals cannot pay the fee or even find employment. Helping people in this position has always been a critical advantage of getting the Pardon Canada program. Unfortunately, this benefit has been severely weakened by the additional charge.
What does a Pardon do?
A Pardon, also known as a record suspension, is an official statement from the Canadian government that removes the legal record of a criminal conviction. It does not erase or seal the conviction, but it sets aside the record for most purposes and allows the individual to move forward without the stigma of a criminal record.
With a Pardon, individuals may be able to apply for jobs, travel outside of Canada, and participate in activities that would otherwise be unavailable to them due to their criminal record. A Pardon can also help with personal matters such as obtaining a loan or finding housing. However, it’s important to note that a Pardon does not guarantee entry into other countries, as foreign governments may have their own rules regarding individuals with criminal records.
In summary, a Pardon can provide individuals with a second chance by removing the legal barrier of a criminal record and allowing them to move forward with their lives.
Need Full Pardon service?
Contact Pardon Applications of Canada for assistance with your Pardon / record suspension application. As the only A+ Accredited Pardon service in Canada with over 10 years of successful experience helping Canadians and residents obtain a Pardon, they are the experts in this field. Wondering “Can I get a pardon for free?” Contact them to learn more about their services and fees.