How Can You Apply For A Criminal Record Suspension?

February 17, 2022

How Can You Apply For A Criminal Record Suspension?

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police keeps a database of all the criminal records of individuals convicted for a criminal offence. The record has the following details:

  • All convictions of the offender
  • Offender’s fingerprints
  • Offender’s DNA, if it was ordered by the justice

A criminal record, even after you have completed your sentence, has a serious impact on your life. It shows up in all sorts of background checks. There are chances that it will limit your employability and your ability to travel internationally.

Fortunately, the Canadian Government allows you to apply to the Parole Board of Canada for a record suspension of a crime you have been convicted for. Nevertheless, the process is not straightforward thus it is best that you hire professional lawyer who has experience in criminal law.

You cannot apply for an ‘all’ record suspension though you can apply for suspension of a certain conviction. If you want to apply for record suspension of all your convictions, you will have to submit the documentation and application for each offence separately.

Also Read: When Should You Hire A Criminal Defence Lawyer?

Applying For Record Suspension

You can only apply for record suspension of an offence only after you have served the sentence. In addition to this, there is a waiting period as well. The duration will depend on the type of crime:

  • Ten years for indictable offences
  • Five years for summary conviction offences

For example, if you were convicted for theft and you paid all your fines in July 2020, you will be eligible for record suspension in July 2025. For assault cases, the duration starts after the end of imprisonment and probation period.

What Is A Criminal Record Suspension?

Contrary to the common belief, a record suspension does not exactly “erase” your criminal record. Instead, the record is moved from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police database to a separate database with other suspended records.

In addition to this, if there were any disqualification or obligations that were imposed on you as a result of the offence it will be removed. These might be related to employment, travelling and more.

However, at this point, it is imperative to understand that the record will not cease to exist and under special circumstances, your criminal record can be disclosed after the approval of the Minister of Public Safety.

Record Suspension For Discharge

In some cases, the offender is not convicted and is discharged. In situations like these, there is no need to apply for a record suspension.

The details of discharge are automatically removed from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police database after one year from the date of the absolute discharge. In case of a conditional discharge, the record is suspended for three years after the date of completion of the conditions.

Ineligibility Conditions

All sexual offences in which a victim is a young person are ineligible for a record suspension. Moreover, if the offence or conviction is referred to in Schedule 1 of the Criminal Records Act it is ineligible for a record suspension.

Nevertheless, you can still apply for a record suspension for a Schedule 1 offence if the following conditions are met:

  • The offender was not in a position of authority
  • The offender did not attempt to use violence
  • The offender was not more than five years older than the victim

Conditions Of Record Suspension

The board only grants record suspensions if it is satisfied that the following conditions were met:

  • The offender has been on “good conduct” (Not convicted for another criminal act during the waiting period).
  • The record suspension will help you sustain your rehabilitation in society as a law-abiding citizen.
  • Granting record suspension would not bring the administration of justice into disrepute.


There are several factors that have to be considered while applying for record suspension which is why it is important to make sure that you hire and work with a well-reputed and experienced lawyer who can take care of the formalities for you.

About Slaferek Law

Slaferek lawyers are highly proficient at strategizing effective defence strategies that can lead to case dismissal, reduced charges, reduced penalties, and more. To get in touch with us today, click here. Our expertise lies in criminal cases and DUI cases.

If you are scrambling with charges or are looking for a good criminal defence lawyer to fight your case, our team of trained lawyers can help you build a strong case. We have successfully closed hundreds of cases pertaining to murder, DUI, financial fraud and more.

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