You do not need a lawyer or representative to apply for a pardon. This will not accelerate the review of your application or convey a special status on it. The PBC treats all applications in the same way.
One requirement in the pardon application process is that you obtain a local records check from any and all police agencies in whose jurisdiction you have resided within the last five (5) years. If you reside or resided with the region of Hamilton, we prefer that you attend our office in person with the form and the appropriate personal identification. Most police agencies charge a fee for this check; our fee is $50.00 payable upon receipt (see our requirements for identification elsewhere in this forum). The local check will be processed within two weeks of receipt .
Out of Town - Obtaining a Record Suspension (Pardon)
We will process these if received in the mail. However, you must ensure to include a certified cheque or money order in the amount of $50.00 CDN (payable to the Hamilton Police), as well as a legible photocopy of two (2) pieces of suitable identification. Please make sure you include a return mailing address. Although we will stamp the return envelope 'CONFIDENTIAL', we accept no responsibility for the document once it is mailed. In all cases, to ensure your privacy, it is better for you to pick this document up in person whenever possible.
To obtain a copy of the National Parole Board “Pardon Application Guide” (which includes step-by-step Instructions and Application Forms) contact the National Parole Board Toll-free Helpline at: 1-800-874-2652 or visit www.npb-cnlc.gc.ca/pardons
What is the role of the National Parole Board in the pardons process?
The Parole Board of Canada (PBC) is the official and only federal agency responsible for making pardon decisions under the Criminal Records Act(CRA). Under the CRA, the PBC can grant, deny and revoke pardons.
Who can apply for a pardon?
You can apply for a Pardon if you:
were convicted as an adult of a criminal offence(s) in Canada, or of an offence under a federal act or regulation of Canada
were convicted of a crime in another country and were transferred to Canada under theTransfer of Offenders Act or International Transfer of Offenders Act
Non-Canadian citizens are not eligible unless they were convicted of a crime in Canada.
When can you apply for a pardon?
You can only apply for a pardon after you have completed all of your sentences AND after a waiting period.
You have completed all your sentences if you have:
- paid all fines, surcharges, costs, restitution and compensation orders
- served all sentences of imprisonment, conditional sentences, including parole or statutory release
- completed your probation order
After completing all of your sentences, you must have completed a waiting period:
- 3 years for a summary conviction under theCriminal Code (other than an offence listed in schedule 1 of the C.R.A or other federal act or regulation.
- 5 years for an indictable conviction (other than an offence listed in schedule 1 of the C.R.A).
- 5 years for a summary conviction for an offence listed schedule 1 of the C.R.A (sexual offence involving a child).
- 10 years for a personal injury offence conviction (s.752 C.C), for which a sentence of 2 years or more was imposed.
- 10 years for an indictable conviction of an offence referred to in schedule 1 of the C.R.A.(sexual offence involving a child).
- 5 or 10 years for all convictions by a Canadian offender transferred to Canada under theTransfer of Offenders Act or International Transfer of Offenders Act (10 years for sexual offences).
- 5 years under the National Defence Act, if you were fined more than $2,000, detained or imprisoned more than 6 months, or dismissed from service.
- 3 years under the National Defence Act, for a service offence
What is the effect of a pardon?
A pardon keeps a judicial record of a conviction separate and apart from other criminal records, and gives law abiding citizens an opportunity to reintegrate into society. The Criminal Records Actremoves all information about the conviction for which you received the pardon from the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC). Federal agencies cannot give out information about the conviction without approval from the Minister of Public Safety Canada. A pardon removes disqualifications caused by a criminal conviction, such as the ability to contract with the federal government, or eligibility for Canadian citizenship. If you are convicted of a new offence, the information may lead to a reactivation of the record in CPIC.
Will a pardon erase my conviction?
No. A pardon does not erase the fact that you were convicted of a crime. Your criminal record is not erased, but it is kept separate and apart from other (non-suspended) criminal records.
Do I need a lawyer or representative to apply for a pardon?
No. This pardon application guide includes simple step-by-step instructions on how to apply for a pardon and all the forms that you need. You can also call 1800-874-2652 for help. Just follow the steps and mail your Pardon Application Form, $50 (CDN) pardon application fee, and official documents. An application from a lawyer or a representative does not receive preferential treatment.
Do I need a pardon if I was a young offender?
You may need to apply for a pardon if you were found guilty as a young person and before the specified period of time defined in youth legislation, you were convicted as an adult. The pardon may cover both the youth and adult records. You do not need to apply for a pardon if you were found guilty only in a youth court or youth justice court, since your record will be destroyed or archived once all applicable time periods have elapsed under theYoung Offenders Act or the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
Do I need a pardon if I received an absolute or conditional discharge?
If you have only received absolute or conditional discharges, you do not need to apply for a pardon. If you received an absolute discharge on or after July 24, 1992, the RCMP will automatically remove it from its system one year after the court decision. If you received a conditional discharge on or after July 24, 1992, the RCMP will automatically remove it 3 years after the court decision. If you received an absolute or conditional discharge before July 24, 1992, contact the RCMP to have the information removed (RCMP Pardon & Purge Services, P.O. Box 8885, Ottawa, ON K1G 3M8).
Will a pardon guarantee me entry into a foreign country?
No. A pardon does not guarantee you entry or visa privileges to another country. Before you travel, contact the authorities of any country you wish to visit to find out what you need to do to enter that country. U.S. and other non-Canadian citizens are not eligible for a pardon unless they were convicted of a crime in Canada.
Do I need a pardon to apply for a passport?
No. Passport Canada reviews each application on its own merit. You should contact Passport Canada directly to find out more about the specific requirements for getting a passport.
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