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Just had a great comment from an Impact Pardons associate that was followed up with: True or False?

“A client told me you need to wait 7 years before you can erase something from your CPIC: True or False?”

I was intrigued by the ‘7 years’ part. Seven years is approximately how long it would take if one started the record suspension process as soon as all conditions had been met, if a 6 or 12 month probation is finished successfully, if the fine or fines are paid, if all compensations have been met and, if the Crown proceeded with a summary conviction... a lot of ‘ifs’ there. And if (another if) even one of those conditions was not met, what then? Allow me to put this in real life terms so everyone can understand.

Let’s say on 12 January, 2011, at about 6:25 pm, Jim - who has consumed too much adult beverage – stops by a Shoppers Drug Mart and picks up some shaving items for himself and some flowers for his wife. He exists without paying for the items and is seen by Shoppers staff getting into a green Ford SUV and driving away. They get the plate ‘ 8NT LUCKY’ and the local police are called.

A short while later that night, the police find a green Ford SUV parked at the address associated with the reported licence plate. As the stolen items are in plain view, Jim is charged. On 15 May, 2011, before a judge, Jim pleads guilty to one charge of theft. His sentence is 12 months of probation, 75 hours community service and a $150 fine. As this was his first offence, the Crown proceeded with a summary offence.

The Parole Board of Canada (PBC) is the government agency that can order, not order or revoke a record suspension (formally pardon). Should Jim want to get his conviction out of the CPIC system (where criminal information is stored – Canadian Police Information Centre) he will have to make application to the PBC for a record suspension. The PBC will only consider those applicants who have completed all of their sentences, which include:

a)            all fines, surcharges, costs, restitution and compensation orders;

b)            all sentences of imprisonment, conditional sentences, including parole and statutory release;

c)            any probation order(s), and

d)            after completing the sentences, must complete a waiting period of either 5 years (summary   offences) or 10 years for an indictable offence.

During the next 12 months, Jim did his 75 hours of community service with a local soup kitchen, he paid his fine the day he left court – 15 May, 2011 and his probation was successfully completed 15 May, 2012. He continues to volunteer at the soup kitchen and has abstained from alcohol since he was charged. Has Jim met the PBC requirements? Let’s sum up..

-        On 15 May, 2011 Jim was summarily sentenced and paid his fine at the court that day.

-        Jim finished his court mandated community service by December 2011 while still on probation.

-        Jim successfully completed his probation 15 May, 2012

-        The PBC imposed 5 year waiting period begins 16 May, 2012 and finishes 16 May, 2017

Jim has done well and is over all the hurdles but one: the 5 year waiting period. It’s now a waiting game.

With a client like Jim, Impact Pardons Plus (IPP) would have advised beginning the record suspension process about four to five months before the end of the PBC waiting period. We would ensure the completed application reached the Parole Board by the 17th or 18th of May, 2017. If the PBC has everything they need, a confirmation letter would get back to IPP by about 15 June, 2017. As mandated by law, the PBC must render a decision in six months for summary offences; by 15 December, 2017.

Let’s say the PBC decision letter finds its way to Jim. He is very happy because the PBC letter reads in part, “… hereby informs you that a record suspension, under the Criminal Records Act, has been ordered for the conviction(S) mentioned in the attached schedule.” The official date of the record suspension is 8 December, 2017.

Almost done…

However, the PBC must send two letters: one to the applicant (Jim) and one to the RCMP requesting they remove the convictions from CPIC. Because governments are very large organizations, we at IPP advise our clients to wait 30 to 45 days after the official date of the record suspension to allow time for the RCMP to remove the records from the data base.

Therefore, the RCMP should be finished their work regarding Jim’s record suspension by 22 January, 2018.

The comment at the start of this article was, “A client told me you need to wait 7 years before you can erase something from your CPIC: True or False?”

If you count from the date Jim was charged, 12 January 2011 and go to the date the RCMP cleared his convictions, 26 January, 2018, that is just over 7 years to remove a conviction from CPIC.

So, what was my answer, you ask? I answered, “False. Sometimes it takes longer.” Remember all those ifs?

Had the charge been handled as an indictable offense his probation would likely have been longer and with a 10 year waiting period for an indictable offence, Jim’s end date would be somewhere north of 26 January, 2023.

…and if your fine isn’t paid?…well, that’s something for another time.

If you have questions, Impact Pardons Plus has answers. Call 343 333 1778 or type our company name into Google. You will get answers.

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