If you are applying for a pardon, it must be because you were convicted for a criminal offence. A Criminal record suspension or pardon will allow you to live a normal life. If you have already completed your sentence, your criminal records will be removed from the database of the Canadian Police Information Center (CPIC). It should be noted, this process does not mean your criminal records have been deleted and forgotten. It only helps conceal your criminal records, such that a person looking for your records will not be able to trace them. The following are the Canadian Criminal Offence and the period you have to wait to obtain pardon.
- Summary Offences– These are considered the less serious criminal offences. If you are convicted of these type of offences, you will pay a fine of $5000 or/and a six months jail term. However, there are a few summary offences that have a higher fine and jail terms. For example, breaching a probation order. Types of summary offences are: mischief, DUI where no one was injured, shoplifting, theft of a few dollars, fraud under $1000 or a simple assault and no one was injured. Summary offences do not require fingerprinting. To get a pardon for summary offences you will have to wait for a period of up to 5 years.
- Hybrid Offences- These offences can either be dealt with as either summary or indictable offence. The state counsel makes the decision about how each case is going to be dealt with. This depends on the gravity and the seriousness of the offence. If you have been charged with a hybrid offence, the waiting period is from five to 10 years. Examples of criminal offences that can fall under hybrid offences are assault, impaired driving, theft of under $5,000. In most cases, hybrid offences are initially considered indictable, until the crown attorney considers it otherwise.
- Indictable Offences- These are the most serious type of offences according to the Canadian Criminal Code. If you are convicted of an indictable offence, you will be faced with very severe penalties and jail terms. You will be put under trial by the jury. Example of indictable offences are: murder, extortion, sexual offences, being in possession of heavy drugs, assault that results in severe bodily harm, fraud of more than 5,000 dollars and trafficking. Depending on the nature and the seriousness of the offence, you can serve up to life imprisonment. If you want to obtain pardon for this type of offence, you are required to wait for a period of 10 years. This is having served your fine and term to completion. If you are convicted with more than four indictable offences you cannot be granted pardon.
As you can see the waiting period depends on the type of the offence you have committed. To avoid dealing with all this hassle, try to keep your records clean. However, all is not lost for those with a criminal record, you can always apply for a pardon.