In Canada, pardons are also known as the Record Suspension. This should not be confused as being granted forgiveness. The purpose of obtaining a pardon is that it allows you to live a normal life without the criminal records haunting you. You will be able to access equal employment opportunities, travel freely and access education without any restrictions. However, the process of acquiring pardon is really daunting and strict. There are a series of legal requirements that you must first meet. Any mistake on your part will lead to the cancellation of the pardon application process or delaying the process for a long time. You can either pursue your pardon on your own, or you can have a firm of experts follow up the process for you.
This article will guide you on the requirements of obtaining a pardon:
- Are you Eligible?
The process of acquiring pardon is a detailed process. It does not just involve doing some paperwork. You must first confirm that you qualify for pardon. You may waste a lot of your time and money, only to find out that you are not eligible. There are two major factors that determine if you are eligible or not.
• The Nature of the Offense – According to the law, there are offenses that you cannot obtain a pardon for. For example, Sexual offenses against a minor. Nowadays, you will not get a pardon for this nature of the offense. Another thing that may make you unpardonable is if you have more than three offenses, with each offense having a sentence of two years or more.
- The waiting period – The waiting period determines whether or not you are going to get a pardon or not. For summary offenses, the waiting period is five years. For serious crimes such as theft or assault, you have a 10 years wait. If you are unsure of the nature of your offense and the waiting period, you can seek help from the national pardon center.
2. The Legal Documents
The legal documents are important if you must obtain pardon. They must be well filled out for you to qualify for pardon. If not, this will delay your pardon application process. This is very important and you should consider hiring a lawyer to help you with it. The following are the legal documents required:
1. The Record Suspension Application Form – This is where you start with the documentation process. You must duly fill in the relevant fields in capital letters. You are required to use a blue or black ink pen to fill out the details.
2. A Measurable Benefits Form – The Criminal Record Acts requires you to describe the measurable benefits if you get the pardon. You are also required to fill out the document explaining how it would sustain rehabilitation onto society.
3. The Schedule 1 Exception Form – Offenses under Schedule 1 are not pardonable anymore. You can only succeed if you can give them a good valid reason.
To ensure that the application is not rejected, ensure that you confirm your eligibility and follow all the due process. You can hire a lawyer to help you through the process.