How Much Does it Cost to Get a Criminal Record Suspension?

Depending on the length and seriousness of your criminal record, expect to pay between $1500-$3000 for a Criminal Record Suspension. This includes fees to courts, police, Pardon Applications of Canada, fingerprinting and the government of Canada’s filing fee which is currently $657.77.

Can I Apply for a Criminal Record Suspension By Myself?

It is absolutely your privilege to try. In the same manner that you are entitled to represent yourself in court, you can certainly attempt the application process on your own. However, just like self-representation in court, doing so carries its own risks. For example, each of the ten application stages must be completed perfectly and in a precise manner. If any mistakes are made, the application may be rejected or deemed invalid. If this occurs, you will not be permitted to apply again for a full year, and all time and money invested in the process is lost. For most applicants, it makes sense to ensure that the application process is completed accurately and successfully the first time. And that’s where Pardon Applications of Canada excels.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Criminal Record Suspension?

The Criminal Records Act specifies that a Record Suspension application undertakes a ten-step legal process – although not every step is applicable to every application. Generally speaking, the timeline from start to finish takes between 6 to 12 months, depending on the nature of the criminal offence(s) and the number of dispositions (locations) in which the applicant was charged or convicted in court. After this timeline, the application is submitted to the Parole Board of Canada for their independent review and decision on the application. This timeline itself can average 4-8 months or longer, depending on the seriousness of the criminal record and other factors. Therefore, the total timeline from start to finish for a Criminal Record Suspension can vary between 10-20 months or longer for very serious records.

What is a Criminal Record Suspension?

A Criminal Record Suspension is the updated name for a Canadian Pardon after the conservative government amended the Criminal Records Act in 2012. The reason for the change in terminology likely reflected the fact that a Criminal Record Suspension can be revoked if the person in question re-offends, whereas the term “pardon” could imply complete & indefinite exoneration. It is consistent with the trend toward political correctness. The Parole Board of Canada, the government body responsible for making the decision on submitted Criminal Record Suspension applications, also communicated that the term “suspension” better depicts what actually occurs when an individual’s record is pardoned. Specifically, the record is placed separate, or suspended from, the visible portion of the CPIC database. But the charges never really “go away”.

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