Applying for a Pardon in Canada: Everything You Need to Know

Applying for a Pardon in Canada: Everything You Need to Know

Have you been convicted of a criminal offense? If you’re hoping to change your life and start afresh, one of the most important things you need to do is get that conviction behind you. In Canada, the Criminal Records Act allows citizens to be pardoned for their crimes after a period of time has passed since the completion of their sentences and rehabilitation programs. This act provides an opportunity for those who have made mistakes in the past to work towards building a better future. Applying for a Canadian pardon (known as pardoning in Canada) can help expunge certain offenses from your record so that they don’t hinder your ability to apply for certain jobs, travel, or participate in other activities that require background checks. While there are many reasons why you might want to obtain a pardon from the Canadian government, there are rules that must be followed and conditions that must be met before applying for one can begin. Here’s what you need to know about pardon applications in Canada, including eligibility requirements and how to apply.

What is a pardon?

A pardon is an official forgiveness granted by the government that removes certain criminal penalties. A pardon removes the stigma of having been convicted of a crime and allows you to live and work as if you were never convicted. Technically, anyone can apply for a pardon; however, there are certain criteria that must be met before it is issued. Pardons are also essential if you want to travel to a foreign country and clear your criminal record. For example, if you have a Canadian pardon, you can apply for a US waiver application to enter the USA legally. 

Pardon Eligibility

To be eligible for a pardon, you must have been convicted of an offense, completed the sentence imposed by the court, and demonstrated that you are rehabilitated. An individual can be eligible for a pardon after completing all sentences and meeting the waiting period of good conduct. A sentence can include anything from a fine to probation to jail time. Keeping good conduct is a subjective concept, but to keep it simple it means staying out of trouble. You don’t have to wait until the weapons or driving prohibition order expires before the waiting period begins. 

There are several different factors that determine eligibility, including:

Your charge(s) and their severity

Charge(s) date

The location of the charge(s)

Pardons Canada: How to apply

In order to apply for a Canadian pardon, you will need to contact the Parole Board of Canada. The board will then review your application and decide whether or not it is warranted. To be eligible, you must have at least one year of good behavior following your release from prison or completion of sentence. In order to prepare the application, you must complete your sentence and meet the eligibility criteria set by the Parole Board. Here are three ways to do it.

Hire an experienced lawyer: 

The process of applying for a pardon can seem confusing. It’s not unusual for people to make mistakes on their applications because they don’t know how to fill out certain fields on the form. Luckily, hiring an experienced lawyer could save you a lot of time and money in the long run.  Lawyers know exactly what information to include on the application form so that it’s as accurate as possible. They also know what information won’t work with different sentences, so they’ll omit them if necessary. If you’ve been charged with a crime and need representation, this is the best option for you.

Do it yourself:  If you want to save some money but aren’t sure where to start, consider doing it yourself. One way to do this would be to go online and use a pardon calculator. These calculators typically walk applicants through the entire process step-by-step, meaning that all you need is access to a computer or smartphone with internet access. 

Hire a pardon services agency:

  There are many companies that specialize in helping individuals obtain pardons. For example, Pardon Applications Canada offers a service where they take care of everything for you. All you need to do is fill out the form on their website and send it back to them–they’ll handle everything else! It might cost more than trying to submit your own application, but oftentimes the benefits outweigh the price tag.

The Final Word

Getting a Canadian pardon is one of the most important steps you’ll take if you’ve been convicted of an offense that may be pardoned by the federal government. Getting help from an experienced criminal defence lawyer can make applying for a pardon easier, faster and more likely to succeed. 

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