A pardon, now known as a "record suspension", provides an individual with a criminal conviction an opportunity, after the passage of a set amount of time to have their criminal record suspended and removed.

The Parole Board of Canada is the authority that oversees the suspension of criminal records. If an application to the Parole Board is approved, an individual with a criminal record receives a fresh start, so to speak. However, the Parole Board reserves the right to cancel, refuse or revoke record suspensions under federal law.


The following criterion must be met before an individual may submit an application for a record suspicion:

  • Completed all sentences of imprisonment, including paid all fines and restitution orders in full; and
  • Abided by the waiting period for the completion of all sentences. The waiting period is as follows:
    • 5 years for a summary offence
    • 10 years for an indictable offence


Yes. Your application may be denied, especially if you are found not to have maintained a record of good conduct since your sentence was completed.

In order to maximize your chances of being granted a record suspension, it is in your best interest to hire a criminal defence lawyer in Toronto.

Applying for a pardon or record suspension represents your second chance for a fresh start in the world. Whether you require a clear record to work or travel outside of Canada, Caryma Sa'd can help you get the results you need. You can count on our qualified and experience criminal defence lawyers in Toronto.