What Offences Are Ineligible for a Pardon?

By 10 May 2016August 8th, 2023No Comments

Unlocking a brighter future often hinges on the ability to move past our mistakes. However, when it comes to obtaining a pardon in Canada, not all offences are eligible for this life-changing opportunity. “What Offences Are Ineligible For A Pardon” is a crucial question that resonates with countless individuals seeking redemption. Delve into the intricacies of the Canadian pardon system as we explore the types of convictions that may hinder the pursuit of a clean slate, shedding light on the path towards true forgiveness and liberation.

In many cases, obtaining a record suspension (commonly referred to as a Pardon) is an entirely feasible course of action.  However, there are some offences that cannot be suspended from your record, even from a police check or basic background check.   These offences are ineligible from being suspended from a record due to the grave and serious nature of the specific charges.  Below are the offences that are ineligible for a Pardon.

A Schedule 1 Offence under the Criminal Records Act

This type of criminal offence is very serious in the eyes of the law – it is generally an offence of a sexual nature that involves a child in any way.  Canadian law stipulates, any convicted Schedule 1 offences or charges under the Schedule 1 in the Criminal Records Act cannot be suspended from a record, even after the sentence has been completed and carried out.

Common Assault or Assault with Intent to Commit an Indictable Offence against a Child

Assault is always a serious charge and the gravity of the offence in the eyes of the law only increases when the offence involves children.

An indictable offence is a specific kind of offence which can only be tried on an indictment (a formal and official accusation that a person has committed a crime).  After a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is a prima facie case (a clear case at first sight) to address, the person can be tired by a jury. This is in contrast to a summary offence, which is a crime that can be proceeded against summarily (in some common law jurisdictions) without the right to a jury trial.

If any of these offences were committed, charged or tried before January 4, 1983, they are not eligible for being covered under a record suspension.

More than Three Prosecuted Indictable Offences with a Prison Sentence of Two Years or More

If a person has been charged and convicted of more than three indictable offences, in addition to any of those sentences being imprisonment for two or more years, a person cannot get those charges suspended from their record.

The notion behind indictable offences in general is that they carry more moral weight behind them than summary offences, which do not require a jury.  If an indictable offence requires a sentence greater than two years, it is deemed unpardonable by the Canadian government.

The standard definition of indictable offences is that they require both a judge and a jury to properly assess in the eyes of justice, but also that they are generally considered more serious and grave offences.  Both in the eyes of the written law and in the eyes of Canadian society, many convicted indictable offences involve crimes that are considered to be too grave to be pardoned or suspended from a person’s record, even after the individual has served their time.

Overview of Ineligible Offences

Not all discharges received after a conviction result in eligibility for a pardon. It is essential to distinguish between absolute discharges and conditional discharges, as they have different implications for pardon eligibility.

Absolute Discharges: When an individual receives an absolute discharge, it means that they are not convicted of the offence, and therefore, no criminal record is created. As a result, absolute discharges are not eligible for a pardon since there is no record to suspend.

Conditional Discharges: Conditional discharges are a type of sentence where the individual is found guilty of the offence but is not convicted. Instead, they are placed on probation and must adhere to specific conditions. Once the probation period is successfully completed, the individual may be eligible for a pardon after a waiting period.

The waiting period for a pardon following a conditional discharge depends on the offence. For summary conviction offences, the waiting period is typically three years. In contrast, for indictable offences, the waiting period is generally five years.

Understanding the type of discharge received and the associated waiting period is crucial for individuals seeking a pardon. Consulting with a legal professional can provide clarity on pardon eligibility and guide individuals through the application process.

Understanding which offences are ineligible for a pardon is crucial for anyone seeking a second chance and a fresh start. By recognizing the limitations and exploring alternative avenues for rehabilitation, individuals can still strive to rebuild their lives. If you are determined to overcome your past and embrace a brighter future, it’s essential to stay informed about the specific offences that fall under this category. At Pardon Applications Canada, we are committed to guiding you through the complexities of the pardon process, providing expert advice, and supporting your journey towards redemption. Remember, no matter the circumstances, hope and opportunity await those who take proactive steps towards a pardon. Discover the possibilities and unlock a brighter future by finding out “What Offences Are Ineligible For A Pardon” today! If you have a criminal record, the process of re-integrating into society starts by finding out if you are eligible for a Canadian pardon.

PAC’s Ongoing Service Commitment

Email [email protected]
Schedule a Call
My Account Dashboard


  • Fill out the form to receive a complimentary, 100% confidential email with more information on Pardon Applications of Canada services. You'll also receive a no-obligation phone consultation with an Accredited Pardon & U.S. Waiver Officer.
  • Check 1 or More that Apply.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.