When it comes to fielding questions about the pardon and waiver process I get a lot of the same, over and over. One of the common questions I count on being asked on a daily basis is “what do I have on my criminal record”?
The answer is simple and always the same. Your criminal record contains everything you have ever been arrested for. And until you make the application to have it removed, via a pardon application or a purge and file destruction, it remains there indefinitely. There is NO statute of limitations. And unless you received a “conditional or absolute discharge” prior to 1992 the record remains forever (If you are wondering what a “discharge” is please see my post next week).
But your criminal record doesn’t have to remain there forever. If you were arrested in Canada you can have your criminal record cleared, provided you’ve stayed out of trouble with the law.
But until you decide that you want to get this done for you, don’t count on anything happening. Canada’s pardon program is unique but you still have to take the responsibility upon yourself and make sure it gets done. And the sooner you get started the sooner your criminal record will go away for real.