Many Canadians believe that it is necessary to retain legal counsel to aid their Pardon application process. With this decision, those with prior convictions will almost certainly be paying a lawyer far too much to handle their application. The application process is detailed and specific, but it does not require an attorney. In fact, there is a significantly more affordable and accessible option at applicant’s disposal to help obtain a Pardon and move forward in life.
If you’re thinking about applying for a criminal Pardon (now known as a Record Suspension), you most certainly have a few goals in mind: opening doors to new employment opportunities, gaining access to higher education, and freedom to travel without worry.
It’s these hopes that drive some Canadians to hire legal representation to ensure that the process goes smoothly. However, lawyers often simply refer the work to junior associates or other representatives, and then charge their client a premium as if they did the work.
It’s common practice for seasoned legal counsel to charge upwards of $500 per hour. As well, many attorneys are not specialists in the Pardon application process, which could produce further delays as they acclimate to a new area of practice. Assuming the attorney charges by the hour, it won’t be possible for them to provide an accurate price at the outset. There could be delays, unforeseen circumstances, or extra work needed later. Some attorneys might bill you for four hours, while others could bill for six to eight hours or more. It is not uncommon for a final bill from a lawyer to be $3000-$5000 or more.
An alternative is retaining an accredited Pardon Application service company that charges a flat fee for a specialized service — closer to $1200.
If you are interested in applying for a Canadian Pardon, take the first step today with a free Pardon qualification assessment.
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