What Can’t be Pardoned by Canadian Law? Here’s What to Know –

A criminal record can make it impossible for you to apply for a mortgage, hold down a job, or travel abroad. Even if you were never convicted of the offence, being charged and detained by the RCMP for any offence, no matter how minor, also constitutes a criminal record. In these cases, you can apply for a pardon with the Parole Board of Canada (PBC). If the PBC grants your application, your record will be removed from the set of active criminal records that the Canadian Police Information Center (CPIC) holds. However, not all pardon applications are granted, especially if the nature of your offence falls under any of the following:

Schedule 1 Offences under the Criminal Records Act (CRA)

In general, those who have been convicted of Schedule 1 offences under the CRA are ineligible for pardon. Bestiality, child pornography, child prostitution, child rape, child trafficking, incest, paedophilia, and sexual assault are among these offences. These offences are so grievous that the PBC will not allow them to be removed from your criminal record, regardless if you were actually convicted or not. Even after you have served your time, the record will stay. Mortgage financiers, prospective employers, and other countries’ embassies have a right to know about potential child predators’ criminal records. They also have the right to turn away people with any of the aforementioned offences on their criminal records.

Nevertheless, the PBC can grant record suspensions, provided that:

  • You were not a person in authority (ex. law agent, parent, soldier, teacher) when you committed the crime,
  • You did not use violence or attempt to use violence
  • And the victim involved was less than five years old

Under Section 4(4) of the CRA, you would have to prove all three facts listed in the exceptions above. If you were charged but not convicted of the crime, you will still have to apply for a pardon with the PBC to clear your records.

Assault and attempted assault against a child committed before January 4, 1983

Prior to January 4, 1983, assault and attempted assault against children were considered ‘indictable.’ If you were charged or convicted of an indictable offence (an offence tried by a jury, in contrast with a summary offence, which goes straight to an individual judge’s sala) involving assault or attempted assault of a child, you are ineligible for pardon. Those who were charged but not convicted of assault or attempted assault would still have to apply for a pardon with the PBC to convince them that you are no longer a threat to any child.

Being charged or convicted of more than three indictable offences bearing two or more years’ prison time

Canadian jurisprudence holds that indictable offences carry more moral weight than summary offences. The judgments involve the opinions of a group of persons, or jurists, who heard the case. Thus, when you commit an indictable offence more than three times, and these offences are worth two or more years in prison, you basically demonstrates that you are unfit to rejoin society—thus, people with this record would have to live with their records for life.

Being charged with these offences more than three times, yet not being convicted will also show that you have a tendency to get in trouble. Hence, you are considered a risk to the public even if you weren’t convicted of a crime. Nevertheless, if you somehow manage to convince the PBC that you are not a risk to society, you could still have your record expunged. You will have to consult a lawyer about this.

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