Applying for a pardon in Canada takes place through the National Pardon Centre. However, if you want to know more about the process before you submit your application, this guide to pardon applications in Canada should clear the air for you.
Pardon eligibility requirements
The first step in applying for a pardon is to determine if you are eligible to receive one, and which depends on the following:
- The severity of your charge(s)
- The date when the charge(s) took place
- The place where the charge(s) took place
A counselor or a lawyer can help you find out if you are eligible without you losing time in researching this information. A trustworthy pardon services agency can also help you understand how this process works and how you can complete it without paying a dime.
How long does it take to receive a pardon?
Depending on the severity of your charges, the process of rewarding you with a pardon may take between six months and a year. The duration varies, and it is rarely the same even for two different pardon applicants with a similar charge.
Remember that the date from when you committed the act that brought you the charges also influences the time it will take to receive a positive response to your pardon application.
Another factor that might affect how long it takes before you receive a pardon is the place where you were found guilty of the charges. Some Canadian police stations are more reluctant to provide the necessary information, which usually slows down the process.
How much does a pardon cost?
Generally, preparing a pardon application is around $800, which also covers the cost of court documents and fingerprinting services. Besides these fees, you will also have to pay:
- $631 payable to the Parole Board of Canada
- Approximately $50 payable to your local police
- Approximately $85 for fingerprinting services if you cannot visit one of our offices
All in all, the cost of a pardon application in Canada may cost as much as $1,500.
How to get a pardon faster
Pardon applications in Canada cannot be rushed legally. If a firm offers this kind of service, your best choice is to avoid it. Otherwise, you will most likely be the victim of a scam. Obtaining a pardon is a complex process that follows its natural course. You already pay money for it, so a service that promises to do it faster is not an honest one.
Record Suspensions – Everything you need to know
Since March 2012, Canada has changed its pardon program legislation to refer to “pardons” as “record suspensions.” You should know that these terms refer to exactly the same thing. When you apply for a pardon, you apply for a record suspension at the same time, and vice-versa.
Because pardon applications in Canada are difficult to understand enough, we will continue to refer to this procedure by its old term, pardon.
How to apply for a Pardon in Canada
The only institution in Canada that grants pardons is the Parole Board of Canada. When you submit your application, you must ensure that your file includes all the required documents and that you meet all the mandatory eligibility criteria. Here are three simple ways to prepare it:
1. Do it alone
The Canadian legislation enables you to be your own representative and prepare the application for a pardon alone. You will only need to employ a third-party agency to record your fingerprints and provide them to the Parole Board when they assess your application.
2. Use the services of a lawyer
This option of applying for a pardon is not very popular in Canada, mainly due to the additional costs that you have to pay. On the other hand, having a lawyer on your side means that you have a well-prepared professional representing your case.
3. Hire a pardon services agency
Employing a Canadian pardon service provider helps you save time on compiling the application yourself and money that you would normally use to pay a lawyer.
Final tips on pardon applications in Canada
Lastly, you should keep in mind that applying for a pardon in Canada is a lengthy bureaucratic process. You cannot expect overnight results from it. On the contrary, you should be patient and use the time you have at your disposal to build an even stronger case in the situation that the Board rejects your application.
Also, remember that you do not need extensive legal experience or knowledge to apply for a pardon. You can do it yourself and avoid paying a lawyer if you want to save money.
A Canadian pardon can take a long time, but with the help of a pardon services agency, you can reduce waiting time and regain your freedom faster.
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