Can You be Refused a Pardon?

05.17.16

Even if an eligible candidate applies for a record suspension and fills out the application correctly, there is a possibility that it could be refused or even revoked at a later time.  If the following has occurred or applies to you, you may not be given a record suspension, or be able to benefit fully from the effects of having your record suspended – in other words, the benefits of a pardon may not apply in certain circumstances.

  • Some record suspensions (or pardons) may not be recognized by some foreign countries and may not guarantee that you will be allowed entry into said countries.
  • Even with a record suspension, a convicted offence is still visible on your record.  A pardon does not erase the fact that you were convicted of an offence. It is nonetheless sealed from public visibility in Canada.
  • If your driving privileges were revoked or you were restricted from possessing a firearm, a record suspension will not restore them or give you permission.
  • If other persons, agencies or foreign countries have details of your criminal record, they will not be asked or required to remove it. An entirely separate request may be required to have local police purge criminal related information, including arrest records. The record suspension applies to Canada only and not foreign countries. Once granted a Pardon your record is sealed from public visibility in Canada.
  • During pre-screening periods for employment or volunteer work in vulnerable sectors, the police are permitted to recoup suspended sex offences. Should a sex offence or a pardoned/suspended record be found during a civil search, the individual will not be issued a police clearance certificate, thus, terminating any possibility to work in a vulnerable sector.
  • If your court case was published on the internet for access to the public as part of legal public record, it may not be removed without a court order.

Remember that a record suspension can be revoked, usually if you commit another offence. A record suspension can be viewed before the court if you face charges, and it will impact your sentence.

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In addition to the preceding, The Parole Board of Canada (PBC) requires a record suspension applicant to be of good conduct in order to obtain a pardon in the first place.  Good conduct can consist of many different things.  It includes, but is not limited to: the absence of highway traffic fines, fine in arrears for child support payments, and new charges or encounters with the law. If an applicant has demonstrated bad conduct in the past 5-10 years, such as additional offences, warnings from police, or other infractions, a pardon can be denied.

For more information on what makes you eligible or ineligible for a pardon, fill out a free pardon qualification assessment today.

Learn More About Pardon Applications of Canada

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