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SekCheck 24 Jun  |  3 mins read

How To Get Record Expunged in Canada - Guide To Expungement

How To Get Record Expunged in Canada - Guide To Expungement

What is Expungement?

Expungement is a legal process that allows individuals to have their criminal records permanently erased or sealed from public access. In Canada, the term "expungement" is often used interchangeably with "record suspension" (previously known as a pardon). However, true expungement, where the record is completely erased, is rare and typically reserved for cases where the law that was broken is deemed unjust or the conviction was found to be wrongful. For most individuals, a record suspension is the more attainable goal, which effectively separates their criminal record from public records.

Why is Expungement Required?

A criminal record can significantly impact various aspects of an individual's life, long after the sentence has been served. Here’s why expungement or record suspension is often necessary:

  • Employment Opportunities: Many employers conduct background checks, and a criminal record can be a major obstacle to securing a job.
  • Travel Freedoms: Countries like the United States have strict entry policies for individuals with criminal records. Expungement can improve the chances of being granted entry.
  • Housing: Landlords often perform background checks, and a clean record can improve the chances of securing rental accommodations.
  • Volunteer Work: Many volunteer organizations require a clean record, especially for positions involving vulnerable populations.
  • Personal Reputations: A criminal record can tarnish an individual's reputation, affecting personal and professional relationships.
  • Psychological Relief: Clearing one’s record can provide a sense of closure and relief from past mistakes.

Benefits of Expungement

  • Enhanced Employment Prospects: With an expunged record or a record suspension, your criminal record will not appear in most background checks, making it easier to obtain employment.
  • Increased Travel Opportunities: While a Canadian pardon does not guarantee entry to other countries, it can significantly enhance the likelihood of being granted entry.
  • Better Housing Options: A clean record increases the chances of approval when applying for rental housing.
  • Access to Volunteer Work: An expunged record allows for more volunteer opportunities, particularly in sensitive roles.
  • Peace of Mind: Expungement can provide psychological relief and help individuals move forward without the burden of past convictions.

How To Get Your Record Expunged in Canada

1. Determine Eligibility

Before starting the expungement process, ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria:

Completion of Sentence: You must have completed all parts of your sentence, including imprisonment, probation, parole, and payment of fines or restitution.

Waiting Period: You must wait a specified period after completing your sentence:

Summary Offenses: 5 years

Indictable Offenses: 10 years

2. Gather Necessary Documents

Collect the following documents to support your application:

Criminal Record: Obtain a copy of your criminal record from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

Court Information: Obtain court documents related to your conviction(s).

Local Police Records Check: Get a records check from the police in the area where you currently live.

Military Conduct Sheet: If you served in the Canadian Forces, you need your conduct sheet.

3. Complete the Application Form

Fill out the application form for a record suspension, which can be found on the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) website. Ensure that all information is accurate and complete.

4. Pay the Application Fee

As of now, the application fee for a record suspension is CAD 644.88. Ensure that you include the payment with your application.

5. Submit the Application

Send your completed application form, along with all required documents and the application fee, to the PBC.

6. Await the Decision

The PBC will review your application and make a decision. This process can take several months, so be prepared for a wait. If the application is approved, your record will be suspended, meaning it will be kept separate from other criminal records and will not appear in most background checks.

Navigating the expungement process can be complicated and time-consuming. That’s where SekCheck Fingerprinting comes in. Team at SekCheck specializes in helping individuals through the complexities of obtaining a record suspension in Canada. Our experienced team provides comprehensive support, ensuring that all necessary documents are gathered, forms are accurately filled out, and deadlines are met. With SekCheck, you can be confident that your application will be handled professionally and efficiently, increasing your chances of a successful outcome.