Whether it’s the inability to hold down a job or the improbability of traveling abroad, there are various ways a Canadian criminal record can hamper your quality of living. Regardless of whether or not you were convicted of an offence, being charged and detained alone by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) can merit the generation of a criminal record.
The minuscule margin for error in the eyes of the Canadian law can prove to be detrimental even long after the sentence has been served, which has put millions of Canadians at risk. Fortunately, it is very much possible to resume living normally even after incurring a Canadian criminal record with the help of a pardon or record suspension.
Any impediments brought about by a criminal past can be resolved and eradicated right away by making an application to the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) for a pardon. Should the PBC grant your application, then your criminal record will be removed from the entire set of active criminal records that the Canadian Police Infomation Center (CPIC) possesses. Being granted a pardon by the PBC is akin to eradicating the existence of your criminal record in the eyes of the general public, give you a clean slate to begin again.
Although there are various success stories that stem from pardon applications, there are also several failures that lead applicants to ask themselves one question: “Why can’t I be pardoned by the PBC?”
Reasons for denied pardon applications
Cases of denied applications can be traced to various situations, conditions, or restrictions that an applicant’s criminal charge may fall under. Here are a few possible reasons that you may not be pardoned by the PBC:
1. You were convicted of a Schedule 1 offence under the Criminal Records Act (CRA)
One of the leading causes for pardon application denial is a conviction under a Schedule 1 offence under the CRA due to the heinous nature of the crime. The charges that fall under the classification of a Schedule 1 offence include:
- Child pornography
- Child prostitution
- Child rape
- Child trafficking
- Sexual assault
The grave nature of Schedule 1 offences renders those who commit them automatically ineligible for a record suspension unless the conviction is overturned. There are, however, special cases wherein the PBC can grant record suspensions for a Schedule 1 offence as long as you were charged but not convicted. A Schedule 1 offence is considered a special case that is eligible for record suspension when it meets the following criteria:
- The offender was not a person in authority or did not hold an authoritative position (ex. Parent, soldier, teacher, law agent) during the time when they committed the crime
- The victim involved was less than five years old
- Violence was not used or attempted during the crime
2. You committed an assault or attempted assault against a child before January 4, 1983
Prior to the Canadian government’s ruling on assault on a child on January 4, 1983, the charges of assault or attempted assault were considered as indictable by all means. Should you fall under this specific criteria, then you are ineligible for pardon due to the strict viewpoint of the Canadian government towards any threats to a child’s safety.
3. You were charged or convicted of more than three indictable offences that bear two or more years of prison time
In comparison with other types of offences that can possibly be committed, indictable offences carry one of the heaviest amounts of moral weight—essentially meriting a point against your fitness to rejoin society. For those with a Canadian criminal record that bears more than three indictable offences, in particular, the right to apply for pardon is automatically stripped away.
Applying for a Canadian pardon can often prove to be a nerve-wracking process that can make the difference between having a second shot at life and living with a greater level of difficulty. To ensure that your attempts are not futile, however, it is best to ensure that you do not fall under any of the criteria on this list.
If you’re looking for a Canadian criminal pardon or record suspension, get in touch with us today to see how we can help!