Non Conviction Record Destruction, Criminal Record?
You were never convicted, so why do you have a criminal record? You’d actually forgotten all about the offence, because your lawyer told you not to worry it would be erased automatically. But was it? Today you’re applying for a job, wanting to volunteer, and it’s coming back to haunt you. Good thing is you can fix it.
Convictions vs. Discharges
If you are convicted of a criminal offence you are found guilty in court, sentenced, and have a permanent criminal record. To remove this record you need to apply for a Canadian Pardon. If you have convictions and non-convictions on your record, the pardon will seal all offences from public record.
Sometimes you are found guilty in court and sentenced, but NOT convicted. You do not receive a permanent criminal record. This is known as a discharge. There are two types of discharges:
Conditional Discharge– Terms to comply with (ie. fine payment, community service). Must wait three years from receiving the discharge in court for the offence to be removed from your record.
Absolute Discharge– No terms or conditions to comply with. Must wait one year from receiving the discharge in court for the offence to be removed from your record.
*Post -1992 automatic purges of discharges occur. Unfortunately some discharges do not end up being purged in accordance with the above-mentioned retention schedules. A fingerprint check will verify whether or not the offence has been properly purged from your criminal record.
You may have been found not-guilty in court, but will still have a criminal record in cases where you received the following:
1)Withdrawn, dismissed, acquitted – must wait 5 months from disposition date in court to remove from your criminal record.
2)Stay of proceedings, peace bonds – must wait one year from disposition date in court to remove from your criminal record.
What Can I do About my Criminal Record?
To remove the offence from your criminal record, you can apply for what is called a file destruction. The destruction seals/destroys all fingerprints, photographs, and court disposition documents. As a result, your RCMP report (criminal record) will be clear.
File destructions are made with the arresting police force involved in your offence. They approve the destruction request, before making a request of their own with the RCMP for the offence to be removed from your criminal record. The process is similar to being pardoned, and the 10-12 month timeframe is the same, but the good news is you do NOT need to pay any government fees.
Don’t let a non-conviction or not-guilty verdict stand in the way of your future. Not sure if you have a record? Start with a fingerprint check and/or free consultationÂ and go from there. We’re here to help.
866-242-2411 ext. 240