A Record Suspension (pardon) can improve your life. There is no reason you should hesitate to get one if you are eligible. Once you have a Record Suspension, you can apply for background checks without worrying about the results. This will open up activities in career, housing, education and travel. However, there are a few important limitations you should understand before applying.
- A Record Suspension does not erase a criminal record. Once your Record Suspension is granted, the RCMP will remove your criminal record from the main database and seal it in a separate database. From that point on, it will usually not be accessible through background checks. The only way it could be revealed is with the permission of the Minister of Public Safety, who would only grant permission in extreme circumstances.
- There is one exception to the above rule. If you are applying for a job working with children or the disabled, you may have to get a Vulnerable Sector Check. This type of check could reveal offences that pose a risk to vulnerable people. However, only certain types of offences, such as sexual offences, would be revealed. Only employers in these industries are permitted to ask for this type of check.
- A Record Suspension only covers federal offences. If you have provincial offences or black marks on your drivers abstract, it won’t help clear them. You cannot get a pardon for a provincial offence. In most cases provincial offences don’t show up on a background check. However, if you needed to provide a drivers abstract to a potential employer, you may have a problem if you have a driving-related offence, such as DUI.
- If you have any bans or orders, these could be limitations. A Record Suspension will not help you with orders such as firearms or driving bans. However, these bans are not included in the calculation of your waiting period.
- The United States does not recognize pardons. This is one of the major limitations of a Record Suspension. If you are travelling to another country, they may take your pardon into consideration when deciding whether or not to let you enter.
- In 2010, the government made two types of records ineligible for a pardon. You cannot get a pardon if you have Schedule 1 offences against a minor or more than three indictable offences each carrying a prison sentence of two years or more.
- A Record Suspension can be revoked if you offend again. Because the RCMP does not erase records, it can reinstate it if you are ever charged with another crime.
- Your record may still appear in court and police databases. Usually, they will remove it, but there might be a time lag. You may need to make a request to have it removed. Check your local police record before applying for important jobs or opportunities.
Overcoming the limitations of a criminal record
Despite the limitations of a Record Suspension, it still remains the most important thing you can do to put the past behind you and move forward with your life. If you are ready to get started on your Record Suspension, contact us today at 1-866-972-7366.