Absolute or Conditional Discharge

Absolute or Conditional Discharge

The Discharge is a strange type of sentence. It is given when a person is found guilty of the crime but is not convicted.  It is normally given to first-time offenders for minor crimes, or when the person’s involvement in the crime was so marginal that technically they’re guilty but a conviction is not actually warranted.

An absolute discharge has no other penalties, like probation, associated with it and the record of the offence is automatically removed from the individual’s criminal record one year after the sentence is handed down in court. It is the lightest possible sentence. When someone is given a conditional discharge they are often given probation as well. The conditional discharge will be automatically removed from their record after three years. Keep in mind that the record is only removed at the RCMP level. People who receive this will want to perform a purge and file destruction to make sure that court and local police records are eliminated as well.


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