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When Can I Apply For A Pardon (i.e. Record Suspension)?

Video Transcript

Thank you for joining me today. I want to talk to you today about what’s now called a suspension of a criminal record, a record suspension if you will. These used to be called pardons in Canada and many people still use that term so if I use the term pardon, it’s interchangeable but the correct term is now record suspension. So what happened was on March, I think it was 13 of 2012, the Government of Canada changed the rules and they made it a longer process to get a pardon so for example before that date, if you were convicted of say an assault charge and you received a fine on say day one, you can apply and if it was a summary conviction case, you could apply to receive a pardon three years after that date and then it would take, well, the government would take their sweet time and giving you the pardon but maybe up to a year or longer before they get around to get expunging – that is pardoning – your record so that law completely changed and made it much a longer process on March 13, 2012. So what happened on that day is legislation was put in place so that it, it had to be five years after the end of your sentence before you can apply for a record suspension on a summary conviction matter and ten years on a more serious indictable matter so it did, it really changed the rules and a lot of people are a little but ticked off about this because it really, you know, in one case doubled and almost doubled for summary conviction doubled for an indictable. There was a recent case and of course they made it retroactive which was really troubling so people who are convicted before March 13 now had to wait the longer period instead of a three and five year periods. There’s a recent case in British Columbia that said look at this retroactivity portion of this, that’s not constitutionally valid and what does that mean, it now means that in Ontario (at least Ontario and BC) have recognized that if someone was convicted before March 13th of 2012, they can apply under the old regime that’s very important to know if you’re convicted and sentenced before those days that you can apply at three and five years so I say to you it’s very important to try and expunge your record to get a record of suspension because at least it’s gonna be off a computer, you know, foresee for employment purposes etc. The government is still gonna keep a record of it somewhere but that’s not visible to the public but, you know, for employment purposes in getting on with your life and getting rid of the stigma of that criminal record, it’s a very wise option to take. I really encourage you to do that if you have a criminal record that needs to be expunged. You need to get a record suspension.

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