Driving prohibitions and firearms bans are common sentences, but are treated differently with regard to a record suspension. They are not used to calculate a person’s eligibility and are not removed with a record suspension.

Driving prohibitions are most often included in the sentence for drinking and driving convictions or driving under the influence. These prohibitions are often time limited (1-3 years) and are often in conjunction with a fine. In some provinces, like Ontario, this sentence must be completed before your licence is restored. One condition also applied may be a requirement to complete a “back on track” course in order for your licence to be restored.

Although the driving prohibition is part of the sentence, it prohibition does not affect you eligibility for a record suspension (formerly referred to as a pardon). The waiting period to apply for record suspension is calculated from the completion of a sentence (5 year wait for summary offences and 10 years for indictable offences). While fine payments are taken into consideration when determining the completion of a sentence the driving prohibition is not.

Firearms bans tend to be included in convictions of violence or where there was a threat of violence, regardless of the use of a firearms involvement in any offence.

Once a prohibition or ban has been order it will remain until the time period it was ordered for has expired. For example if you were given a 5 year driving prohibition or a 10 year fire arm ban, it will remain in effect for the specified period of time.

To remove a lifetime prohibition or ban there must be a serious reason for doing so. Section 113, s1 of the Criminal Code states the following with regard to removing the ban.

Lifting of prohibition order for sustenance or employment
  • 113. (1) Where a person who is or will be a person against whom a prohibition order is made establishes to the satisfaction of a competent authority that
    • (a) the person needs a firearm or restricted weapon to hunt or trap in order to sustain the person or the person’s family, or
    • (b) a prohibition order against the person would constitute a virtual prohibition against employment in the only vocation open to the person,

the competent authority may, notwithstanding that the person is or will be subject to a prohibition order, make an order authorizing a chief firearms officer or the Registrar to issue, in accordance with such terms and conditions as the competent authority considers appropriate, an authorization, a licence or a registration certificate, as the case may be, to the person for sustenance or employment purposes.

What this legislation means is that unless you cannot be employed with a firearms prohibition, or you require a firearm in order to hunt for food to provide for your family, there is no reason for them to remove the ban.

There may be other legal avenue to remove such a prohibition. In speaking with the police regarding the removal of the ban it was also suggested that you may appeal, with the help of a lawyer, your original sentence. Your original sentence may be commuted and the ban changed to a lesser time or removed entirely.

Appealing your sentence may also be a course of action to remove a condition of being on the sex offender registry. Having your name removed from this registry is mentioned in section 490.02 of the criminal code. The exception being that if a person has received a pardon/ record suspension they may apply to have their name removed.

490.02(2) A notice shall not be served on a person:

  • (c) who is referred to in paragraph (1)(b) if they have provided proof of a pardon in accordance with subsection 9(1) of the Ontario Act.

The removal of such prohibitions and bans is possible in some cases. The first step to achieving this starts with getting your pardon or record suspension. Contact our offices today to speak to a client specialist to determine your eligibility for the record suspension.