What is a Record Suspension

A Record Suspension in Canada is a process which allows people who were convicted of a criminal offence,  but have completed their sentence and demonstrated that they are law-abiding citizens, to have their criminal record removed from public access.

Even if you have been fingerprinted by the police and the charges were later withdrawn, stayed, conditionally or absolutely discharged, there is still a record that will show on your background check.

Getting a Record Suspension (previously known as a Pardon) can help lift the burden and remove obstacles that can affect some of the following in your life:

  • Employment

  • Self-Employment

  • Career Advancement

  • Ability to be Bonded

  • Custody of Your Children

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  • Volunteer Work

  • Apartment Rental

  • Educational Opportunities

  • Peace of Mind

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Record Suspension Eligibility

From our experience the Record Suspension application process, both preparation and submission, takes time. It is our recommendation to start well in advance of your eligibility date.

Depending on what you were charged with and whether you have completed all your sentences, you need to wait the following time period until you are eligible for a Record Suspension (previously known as a Pardon) or Destruction.

  • 5 months: withdrawn, dismissed or acquitted charges

  • 1 year: absolute discharges, stayed charges and most peace bonds

  • 3 years: conditional discharges

  • 5 years: summary convictions

  • 10 years: indictable convictions

If a withdrawn, acquitted, dismissed, stayed or peace bond charge happened years ago, the file may be destroyed right away.

For convictions, waiting periods begin to run once the sentence imposed by the court is satisfied. For all other outcomes, the waiting period begins from the court date (ie: jail time served; fines paid).

Ineligible for Record Suspension

Here is a list of offenses which are ineligible for a Record Suspension (previously known as a Pardon):

  • Sexual convictions to a minor.

  • If individual has 4 or more indictable convictions, each of which 2 years or more of jail time was served.