A pardon is aimed at minimizing the negative consequences of a conviction. It does not “retroactively wipe out the conviction” but has the effect of diminishing the impact of the conviction on your general life and potential for employment. Once you are granted a pardon, the content and existence of the criminal record cannot be disclosed to any person without the prior approval of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. The only exception is that of children and vulnerable persons: although a pardon has been granted, the Commissioner of the Royal Mounted Police is authorized to enable a member of the police to determined whether there has been a conviction for a listed sexual offence. If you seek employment or voluntary work involving a position of authority or trust in relation to children or vulnerable persons, then the information regarding the sexual offence pardon will be provided for this purpose.
The National Parole Board has the exclusive jurisdiction to grant or refuse a pardon. The application for a pardon is submitted according to the Criminal Records Act. The applicable time period must have elapsed. There are many restrictions on the application of the record suspension, found in section 4 of the Criminal Records Act.
The Board must be satisfied that you have been of good conduct and not convicted of another offence and, in the case of an indictable offence, that ordering the record suspension would provide a measurable benefit to the applicant, would sustain his or her rehabilitation in society as a law-abiding citizen and would not bring the administration of justice into disrepute.
The Board considers certain factors such as:
the nature, gravity and duration of the offence;
the circumstances surrounding the commission of the offence;
information relating to the applicant’s criminal history and, in the case of a service offence, to any service offence history of the applicant that is relevant to the application; and
any factor that is prescribed by regulation.
You should contact a lawyer before you plan to apply for a pardon. Roxana can draft your application and advise what future actions to take. This may strengthen the likelihood of obtaining a pardon.