PARDON DENIED? RECORD SUSPENSION APPEAL LAWYERS. 416-DEFENCE.

A record suspension, formerly known as pardon, allows those who have been convicted of a criminal record to have their record hidden. While the records are never destroyed, they are kept separate and apart from other criminal records. Active criminal records are stored in the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database. Once a record suspension has been granted, the criminal record will be moved out of CPIC, so as not to be accessed. This allows individuals who are granted a record suspension to live their lives without being negatively impacted by their past.

A record suspension does not completely delete the record of conviction and does not guarantee that the record will not affect visa, immigration or entry privileges into foreign countries. A record suspension may be revoked or cease to have effect if the Parole Board finds you to be of poor conduct, if you are convicted of a new indictable offence or certain summary offences, if it is discovered that you have made false or misleading statements or hidden information when applying for the initial application or where the individual is found to have been ineligible for the record suspension at the time the original record suspension was ordered. Once a record suspension has been revoked or ceases to be in effect, the conviction records will be added back into the CPIC database.

In 2020, the Firm undertook its most challenging appeal in File No. 19****8. The client had 15 convictions in three separate cities over several years. As a result of the client’s extensive history of substance abuse, violence and criminal behaviour, his record suspension application was denied by the Parole Board. Over nearly half a year, the Firm built a portfolio for the offender demonstrating the underlying reasons for his previous criminality, and why they were no longer present today. After demonstrating that the client was of good character the client was granted a record suspension for all his past criminal convictions.

In 2017, the Firm represented a prominent businessman in File No. 17****1. In that case, the Parole Board was attempting to revoke the client’s record suspension for assault. The Parole Board sought to revoke the pardon because of a subsequent conviction for impaired driving. The Firm pulled the transcripts from the impaired guilty plea and was able to show the offence was not nearly as aggravating as the Parole Board initially believed. Ultimately, the Firm was able to reinstate the prior record suspension notwithstanding a further conviction for impaired driving.

In 2015, the Firm represented an individual applying for a record suspension after being convicted of assault and possession of a schedule 1 substance in File No. 15****3. The Parole Board proposed denying the client’s application stating that he had not been of good character since his last conviction. He had been investigated and prosecuted for similar offences and 2003 and 2008. The Firm was able to illustrate that the client’s past offences were dated, occurred when he was young and during a particularly difficult period in his life. This was contrasted with the client’s current lifestyle to show that he had overcome many obstacles to become a functioning member of society who is of good character.

In 2014, the Firm represented a client whose record suspension application had been denied in File No. 14****3. The Parole Board sought to deny the application after the client was convicted of a subsequent Highway Traffic Act offence, siting that as evidence that he had not been of good conduct. The Firm was able to demonstrate that the client had changed his life for the better and the record suspension application was ultimately granted.

In File No. 14****2, the Firm represented a client applying for a record suspension after being convicted of robbery with violence in 2002. The Parole Board proposed denying the client’s application as a result of numerous traffic violations. The Firm argued that the traffic violations did not offer an accurate picture of the client’s character and ultimately secured the record suspension on appeal.

Our Firm does not offer services initial Pardon or Record Suspension applications. We only conduct Appeals for those applicants being denied.

Having a complete understanding of the Elements of the Criminal Offence, Your Rights and the Consequences associated with a Criminal Record is necessary before any legal decisions are made.

Global News National: Ottawa looking to speed up Pardons for pot possession convictions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Difference between a Record Suspension and a Pardon?
Who Grants Record Suspensions?
Who can Apply for a Record Suspension?
Who is Eligible for a Record Suspension?
Who is Not Eligible for a Record Suspension?
Why are Record Suspension Applications Denied?
Can I Appeal a Record Suspension Denial?
How to Appeal a Record Suspension Denial?

Additional Resources

Assault
Assaulting a Peace Officer
Sexual Assault Law in Canada
Consequences of a Criminal Record
Domestic Abuse
First Offenders
Immigration Consequences
Keeping Charges Private
Travel & US Waivers
Vulnerable Sector Screening
Elements of a Crime
Your Rights

What is the Difference between a Record Suspension and a Pardon?

In the past, Canadian’s could receive a pardon after a certain amount of time had passed since their criminal conviction. If an individual was granted the pardon, the records relating to their conviction would be destroyed completely. In 2012, the Canadian government removed pardons, and began issuing record suspensions. When an individual is granted a record suspension their criminal record will be removed from the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database and set aside from other active criminal records, but not completely destroyed.

Who Grants Record Suspensions?

As outlined in the Criminal Records Act (CRA), the Parole Board of Canada is the government agency responsible for granting and denying record suspensions. The Parole Board of Canada is a federal agency. As a result, record suspensions granted under the Criminal Records Act apply only to federally stored records. Generally, however, when the Parole Board of Canada has granted a record suspension, most provincial and municipal governments will also restrict access to their records.

Who can Apply for a Record Suspension?

Anyone who has been convicted of an offence under a federal act or regulation in Canada may apply for a record suspension.

Who is Eligible for a Record Suspension?

Prior to beginning the record suspension process, it is important to ensure that you meet all the eligibility requirements. To be eligible for a record suspension an individual must have completed their sentence. This means that they must have completed all prison sentences, conditional sentences, probation orders and have paid all fines, surcharges, costs, restitution and any other compensation orders.

The individual must then complete a waiting period. An individual who was convicted of a summary conviction offence must wait at least five years after the completion of their sentence to apply for a record suspension. An individual who was convicted of an indictable offence must wait at least ten years after the completion of their sentence to apply for a record suspension.

During the waiting period it is important for the individual to be of good character. When determining whether or not to grant the record suspension, the Parole Board will look into the individual’s criminal history dating back to the completion of their sentence. If they have had contact with the police of any kind, including traffic violations, the Parole Board may deny the application. An individual whose application has been denied may appeal the decision and provide the Board with information regarding their good conduct.

Who is Not Eligible for a Record Suspension?

Individuals who have not met the eligibility requirements outlined in the section above will not be eligible for a record suspension. Specifically, those who have not completed their sentence and waited the applicable waiting period will be rejected.

Other individuals will be ineligible for a record suspension despite meeting the eligibility requirements outlined above. An individual will not be eligible for a record suspension at any time if they were convicted of a Schedule One offence. These offences involve crimes against children. Additionally, an individual who has been convicted of three offences prosecuted by indictment, each with a prison sentence of two years or more will never be eligible for a record suspension.

Why are Record Suspension Applications Denied?

An individual’s record suspension application may be denied for a few reasons. One of the most common reasons an individual’s application is denied is because they were not eligible. As outlined above, an individual must have completed their sentence and must complete a waiting period prior to submitting their application. If their sentence is not complete or the waiting period has not yet passed, the Parole Board will automatically deny the application.

In other situations where the applicant is eligible, the Parole Board may deny the application as a result of poor conduct. When a record suspension is submitted the Parole Board will conduct a thorough background check into the applicant. This background check will reveal any criminal investigations, arrests, charges or prosecutions launched against the accused since their last conviction. The check will also reveal any traffic infractions involving the applicant. Any involvement or interaction with the police may result in the application being denied.

Can I Appeal a Record Suspension Denial?

Yes. Generally, when the Parole Board is going to deny an application, they will send a Proposal to Deny to the applicant, outlining the reasons for their anticipated denial. This allows the applicant to address any concerns and answer any questions that the Parole Board may have. When an applicant receives a proposal to deny, it is important to understand exactly why the Board is proposing the denial. Typically, an applicant will have 90 days to appeal a proposal to deny.

How to Appeal to Record Suspension Denial?

In situations where the Parole Board has proposed to deny an individual’s application for a record suspension, it is possible to appeal. The applicant may make submissions to the Parole Board prior to their final decision. These submissions allow the applicant to explain away any interactions with the police and establish how they have demonstrated good conduct since their last conviction.

In most cases, the Parole Board will only have a very limited picture of the applicant’s life. The only information they will often have is any negative interactions the applicant has had with police. By appealing the proposal to deny, the applicant can explain any interactions with police to help establish that they have been of good character. The applicant may also present other information to the Parole Board demonstrating how they have been of good conduct since their last conviction.

An individual may submit documentation showing positive steps or accomplishments they have made in their lives since their last conviction. This will help to give the Parole Board a more wholesome and complete picture of the applicant’s life and may assist in balancing out any negative police interactions the applicant has had

416-DEFENCE | 416-333-3623