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Conditional Discharge: Do I need a Record Suspension?

A conditional discharge will result in a temporary record, but you do not need to apply for a Record Suspension.

A discharge means that you were not convicted, even though you were found to be guilty. The judge decided that a conviction was not beneficial or in the public interest. Abide by the conditions of the discharge for three years from completing the probation order. Then, you will not need to worry about having a record.

What is the purpose of a conditional discharge?

A conditional discharge gives you a second chance. The RCMP will automatically remove the record from the main database after three years. You will not need to apply for a Record Suspension, which is a huge savings of time and money.

Furthermore, you can say no to the criminal conviction question on job applications. Remember that some professional organizations will ask if you have ever been found guilty of a crime. In this case, you will have to answer yes. However, most employers will limit themselves to asking about convictions. In some provinces, they are not permitted to ask about non-convictions.

Your police record

You should be aware that many local police stations have their own processes for removing records. When your three year waiting period is over, you may want to check with the local police to ensure that your record is no longer showing up. If your record is showing up, you will need to request a file purge.

In fact, if you are planning to apply for a job, you may even want to check your record with the RCMP. Sometimes mistakes can happen.

As well, your charges may show up in a non-conviction section of your local police check before the end of the discharge. This could cause a potential employer to question your record. Another situation in which your charges may show up, even after the three year period, is in a Vulnerable Sector Check. In this case, sexual offences may show up if you were applying to work with children, the disabled or the elderly.

There was a time when Canada did not automatically remove conditional discharges from the record. If you had a discharge prior to July 24, 1992, you will have to ask the RCMP to purge it.

Because a discharge is still a finding of guilt, you may still need a waiver to enter the United States. Contact us for a free consultation if you need a US Waiver or file purge at 1-866-972-7366.

 

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