Criminal Pardons


What is a pardon?

Pardons are issued by the federal government of Canada. This means that any search of the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) will not show that you had a criminal record, or that you were issued a pardon. A pardon allows people who were convicted of a criminal offence, but have completed their sentence and demonstrated they are law-abiding citizens, to have their criminal record kept separate and apart from other criminal records.

A pardon is evidence that the conviction should no longer reflect negatively on a person’s character. In support of this statement, the Criminal Records Act restricts access to records under federal jurisdiction and removes any disqualifications that would result from a conviction. With regards to employment, the CRA specifies that information about pardoned offences shall not be sought in the employment applications of organizations under federal jurisdiction. In addition, the Canadian Human Rights Act forbids federal agencies and departments to discriminate against an individual based on a pardoned record.

If an individual in receipt of a pardon is convicted of a new offence, the information may lead to a reactivation of the criminal record for which the pardon was received in the CPIC.

Reasons to ask for a Pardon

A person who has a criminal record will not be eligible to have the ability to contract with the federal government. A pardon removes disqualifications caused by a criminal conviction. Individuals with a criminal record are often at a serious disadvantage when competing for employment, job promotion, volunteer work, getting bonded, apartment rental, child custody, adoption, mortgage approval and educational opportunities. Some professions (for example, lawyers, paralegals, school teachers, military members) require that a person must not have a criminal record. A criminal record also impedes foreign travel, including travel to the U.S.


Pardons Eligibility

Eligibility Timeline

Depending on your charge, you need to wait the following time period until you are eligible for a pardon. Note: the application process, both preparation and submission, not only takes time but a person is also required to have;

  • Paid all surcharges, costs, fines, restitutions and compensation orders
  • Served all conditional sentences, including parole or statutory release and sentences of imprisonment
  • Completed their probation order


5 Months

Withdrawn, acquitted or dismissed

1 year

most peace bonds, absolute discharges, stayed charges

3 years

summary convictions and conditional discharges (after sentence completed) If sexual conviction, victim must not be a minor

5 years

summary sexual convictions to a minor and indictable offences (after sentence completed)

10 years

indictable sexual convictions to a minor and if served 2 or more years for a personal injury offence (after sentence completed)


If a withdrawn, dismissed, stayed, acquitted or peace bond charge happened years ago, the file may be destroyed right away.

For all other outcomes, the waiting period begins from the court date. For convictions, waiting periods begin to run once the sentence imposed by the court is satisfied.

If you are in need of assistance to receive a criminal pardon and navigate your way through the criminal pardon process, BP Paralegal will be happy to alleviate the pressure and stress that this time consuming process can have. Contact BP Paralegal today and find out if you are eligible to apply for a criminal pardon. In hiring BP Paralegal to obtain your criminal pardon we ensure that all your documents and papers will be filled out correctly, accurately and submitted promptly to help you achieve your pardon so you can get back to having a normal life without the worry of a criminal record limiting your life.


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