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The Legal Process Behind a Pardon Application in Canada

Canada Justice

Being granted a Pardon (now known as a Record Suspension) is your chance to go forward in your life with a clear criminal record. New opportunities for employment, education, and travel will help you move on from the past. The legal process behind a Pardon application in Canada, however, can be daunting. Any mistakes in your application process could result in delays or outright rejection.

With new legislation making the process even more challenging than it was previously, the importance of getting it right the first time cannot be overstated.
Let’s take a look at the main components of a successful Pardon application in Canada.

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Your Certified Criminal Record and Court Information

The first step in the legal process is obtaining your criminal record and court information. These must be accurately submitted to the government for review.

● Obtaining Your Certified Criminal Record: You may do this by submitting electronic fingerprints to Ottawa and waiting for your record to arrive. Note that you are responsible for ensuring accuracy. All your convictions must be on the record. If not, you must get a Proof of Conviction for each missing one.

● Obtain Certified Court information: You are also responsible for providing court information for each conviction, including method of trial (this is extremely important to the Pardon process) and final payment dates for fines or restitution. You must also fill in the forms correctly. This step involves contacting each court you were convicted in.

Pardon Applications of Canada is an A+ Accredited service provider specializing in completing the above process for you, saving time and ensuring accuracy.

Obtain Certified Local Police Record Checks

Now that the information on your convictions has been obtained, the next major step in the legal process to obtain your Pardon is local police record checks. You can do this by filling in the official forms and submitting it to the police service for your current address. You are also responsible for local police checks for each of the cities or towns that you have lived in for the past five years. The police station(s) are then responsible for filling in the forms accurately and placing their stamp or seal on them. Any mistake in this step will result in rejection of your application.

Legal Pardon Document Preparation

Now that you have that requisite information in hand, you must prepare the legal Pardon documentation. Note that the government is not responsible for you not understanding the regulations, therefore you must fill in the correct forms and fill them in accurately or else your application will be delayed or denied. There are a few forms that must be considered:

● The Records Suspension Application Form: You must complete the applicable sections of this form and answer all the questions in block letters using only blue or black ink.

● The Measurable Benefits/Sustained Rehabilitation Form: In accordance with the Criminal Records Act, you must describe the measurable benefit you would receive should you be granted a Pardon (record suspension) as well as how it would sustain your rehabilitation into society.

● Schedule 1 Exception Form: Under new legislation, Schedule 1 convictions are no longer pardonable except under rare circumstances. If this is the case, then you must fill in this form and submit it with your application.

Processing Periods

After you have submitted all the information (along with the government’s $631 fee), you will have a waiting period for your application to be reviewed, depending on the severity of your conviction. Once your Pardon application has been accepted, your record suspension will be processed within:

● 6 months for summary offences
● 12 months for trial by indictment
● 24 months if the Board is proposing to refuse your application

This is a basic overview of the process, and there are many important steps in between. Your own unique situation will govern the legal process behind a Pardon Application in Canada.

There are a variety of reasons why your application may be denied, and in some cases, it could be due to a poorly prepared or incomplete application, or lack of understanding of eligibility periods. If you are considering beginning this Pardon application legal process, take your first step with a free pardon qualification assessment to ensure you qualify.