A record suspension is a process through which a person convicted of a criminal offence, who has completed their sentence and demonstrated their ability to act as a law-abiding citizen, can have their criminal record kept separate from other records. As part of this process, all information pertaining to the person’s conviction is removed from the Canadian Police Information Centre. This means that a person’s recorded conviction is no longer available for review by potential employers, landlords or federal agencies. However, there are cases in which a record suspension is denied. In this post, we’ll look at common reasons for the denial of a record suspension.
The type of offence committed by a person may limit their ability to apply for a record suspension. For example, those that have been convicted of a schedule 1 sexual offence against a child under the Criminal Records Act are ineligible for the record suspension process. Those convicted of common assault against a child or assault with attempt to commit an indictable offence against a child, are also ineligible. In addition, those that have been convicted of more than three offences, each with a prison sentence of two years or more, will not be eligible to apply for a record suspension.
Not Fitting the Good Conduct Criteria
A person’s record suspension might also be denied if they don’t fit the good conduct criteria. The good conduct criteria require that convicted individuals follow specific rules in the years after their conviction. There are a number of elements that determine good conduct. The following are reasons a person might not fulfill the good conduct criteria:
- They were drunk and disorderly in a public place
- They are placed under criminal investigation
- They have been convicted of a provincial or municipal offence
- They have a suspended driver’s license
- They have been associating with gangs or involved in terrorist activity
To fulfill the good conduct criteria, it’s important that those applying for a record suspension consider these reasons carefully and act in accordance with the Parole Board of Canada conduct standards.
There is No Measurable Benefit
If the Parole Board of Canada determines there is no measurable benefit of granting the individual a record suspension, the suspension will be denied. An example of a measurable benefit would be the ability to change other’s perceptions by granting the suspension. Measurable benefits also include the following:
- Obtaining an education
- Obtaining employment
- Achieving financial stability
If a person can prove that they will benefit by being granted a record suspension, then the suspension may be granted. Otherwise, the Parole Board of Canada could deny the suspension.
Failure to Demonstrate an Ability to Sustain Rehabilitation
One of the foremost objectives of the record suspension process is to help a person become rehabilitated and effectively reintroduced to Canadian society. If they are unable to demonstrate the ability to sustain rehabilitation over a number of years, their request for a record suspension may be denied. A person’s record suspension request may be denied if they don’t commit to the following:
- Taking steps to prevent recidivism
- Building a local support system
- Creating a lifestyle that is no longer associated with criminal behaviour
- Making a positive contribution to society
The record suspension process provides those convicted of a criminal offence the ability to move forward in their lives and gain a greater sense of freedom in their work life and at home. But it’s important to understand the complex nature of record suspension applications before beginning the process.
Review the information highlighted in this article carefully to ensure an upcoming record suspension application is approved by the Parole Board of Canada. To learn more about this process or on a particular case, speak with our expert team today.