What is the Period of Good Conduct?

Remaining conviction-free is not the only requirement that must be met in order for a pardon to be granted. All individuals wishing to obtain a record suspension must also demonstrate that they have maintained a period of good conduct for a pre-determined period of time following completion of their sentence.

Under the Criminal Records Act good conduct is defined as a conviction-free period with no suspicions or allegations of criminal behaviour. The length of the waiting period depends on whether the offence was summary or indictable as well as the sentence you received.

In case of summary convictions (petty crimes like DUI, Possession of a controlled substance, theft under, mischief, etc) the waiting period is 5 years. For more serious crimes, known as indictable offences, the waiting period is 10 years. Some offences are always ineligible for a pardon.

A pardon will only be granted by the parole board after they confirm the applicant has been on their best behavior since the last conviction/sentence. There are no official criteria for what constitutes good conduct, but the Parole Board of Canada provides some indication about what they look for to determine whether the good conduct requirement has been met.

These guidelines include the following:

  • Making a positive contribution to society
  • Leading a lifestyle that is no longer associated with criminal behaviour
  • Taking responsibility for offences and sentences
  • Taking steps to ensure there is no risk of recidivism
  • Identifying pro-social relationships and social networks
  • No contact with the police

The Parole Board also determines good conduct by requesting information from justice system participants including police officers, judges, lawyers, informants and court administrators. The most common request is for information from the local police force for each area the applicant has recently resided in. Any negative incidents or accounts of criminal acts and bad behavior reported by the local police or RCMP may lead to a denial of a record suspension.

Reasons you may be denied a record suspension: 

  • Any further criminal convictions
  • Arrests or charges that are otherwise dropped, discharged, or withdrawn
  • Driving offences including speeding tickets or parking violations
  • Police reports that involve you

If you have any concerns about the good conduct rule, or if you are interested in pursuing a record suspension, do not hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help! 1-866-242-2411.


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