Pardon Eligibility Today
Pardon eligibility is met after all sentences have been completed and a waiting period of good conduct has been met. A sentence can be anything from a fine or probation to jail time. Community service and house arrest are also common sentences we see at the National Pardon Centre. Good conduct is a subjective term but to keep it simple good conduct means staying out of trouble with the law. Take note that weapons or driving prohibition order do not need to be expired before the waiting period begins.
Pardon Eligibility – Waiting Periods
Once you have completed your sentence the waiting periods to become eligible for a pardon are as follows. You can calculate which category your application will all under by finding the date of your FIRST conviction.
First conviction occured before June 28, 2010, the waiting period is:
- 5 years – an offence prosecuted by indictment.
- 3 years – an offence punishable on summary conviction.
First conviction occured between June 29, 2010 and March 12, 2012, the waiting period is:
- 10 years — Serious personal injury offence (within the meaning of 752 of the Criminal Code); including manslaughter; an offence for which you were sentenced to a prison term of 2 years or more, and an offence referred to in Schedule 1 that was prosecuted by indictment.
- 5 years — any other offence prosecuted by indictment and an offence referred to in Schedule 1 that is punishable on summary conviction.
- 3 years — an offence other than the ones mentioned above, that is punishable on summary conviction.
First conviction occured on or after March 13, 2012, the waiting period is:
- 10 years — an offence prosecuted by indictment.
- 5 years — an offence that is punishable on summary conviction.
- Not Guilty Outcomes: normally within 1 year
Keep in mind that it is advisable to begin your pardon application or your purge and file destruction at least 1 year in advance of becoming eligible if you want your criminal record to be sealed as soon as possible.The 5 and 10 year criteria for pardon eligibility is a result of the Conservative government of Canada’s tough on crime legislation (Bill C-10) which significantly increased the waiting periods for eligibility.
- Absolute Discharge: 1 year
- Conditional Discharge: 3 years
For not guilty outcomes varying time frames exist before the records can be destroyed.
Pardon Eligibility – History
Before the passage of bill C-10 eligibility for a pardon was as follows:
- Summary Offences: 3 years
- Indictable Offences: 5 years
However, prior to the passage of Bill C-10, another piece of legislation was passed in the House of Commons. Bill C-23 A maintained the previous eligibility waiting periods for summary and indictable offences at 3 and 5 years but increased the waiting period for sexual and serious personal injury offences to 10 years.
Further Reading on Pardon Eligibility:Bill C-10 (Bill C-23B becomes Law)Bill C-23 A