Record Suspension

How long do you have to wait to get a pardon/record suspension in Canada?

January 27, 2021
  •  
Rabeea Khalid

You are most likely eligible to apply for a record suspension if you have: 1) Completed all your sentences, probation orders or fines. If you haven't, you must complete them first. If yes; 2) Complete the duration of the waiting period.

1) Complete all your sentences, probation orders or fines: Before you begin the waiting period you MUST:

  • Complete all sentences of imprisonment and conditional sentences, including parole and statutory release
  • Complete any probation orders; If you have prohibition orders such as firearm restrictions, driving restrictions, and restraining orders, you do not need to have those expired before you can start your waiting period
  • Pay all fines, surcharges, costs, restitution, and compensation orders associated with your sentence.

2) Complete the duration of the waiting period: The duration of your waiting period depends on whether your sentence was for a summary conviction or an indictable conviction.

  • For a summary conviction, you will have to wait five years from the date your sentence is complete. Summary convictions/offences are less serious crimes under the Criminal Code. Examples include solicitation of prostitution, harassing phone calls, and driving under the influence.
  • For an indictable conviction, you will have to wait ten years from the date your sentence is complete. Indictable convictions are the most serious crimes under the Criminal Code. Examples include manslaughter, murder, drunk driving causing injury or death, and drug trafficking.

Please note that B.C and Ontario residents with offences prior to 2012 have had their pardon eligibility wait times for summary and indictable offences reduced to three and five years respectively. These were the eligibility waiting periods pre-Bill C-10.

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