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Criminal Record Suspensions

A record suspension allows a person who was convicted of a criminal offence to have their criminal record set aside.

This means that a 'criminal record check' made, for example, by an employer or a landlord, would not reveal that a person had been charged, acquitted or convicted of the crime that was suspended.

A record suspension does not erase the offence and does not guarantee entry or visa privileges to another country. A record suspension will also not cancel prohibition orders on driving or possessing firearms.

A person can apply for a record suspension once he or she has completed all of their sentences, a waiting period (5 or 10 years), and demonstrated that he or she is a law-abiding citizen.

Denying or Cancelling Criminal Record Suspensions

Under the Criminal Records Act, the Parole Board of Canada may order, refuse to order, and revoke record suspensions. A record suspension can be denied if, for example, the Parole Board of Canada finds that a person is no longer of good behaviour. A record suspension can be revoked or cease to have effect if the person is:

  • convicted of a new indictable offence or in some cases, a summary offence
  • found to be no longer of good conduct; or
  • found to have made a false or misleading statement, or hidden information when they applied.

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