Pardons, Waivers, and Record Suspensions Lawyer in Vancouver



or fill in the secure form below and we’ll call you back.

    By sending us a message, you agree to our
    Privacy Policy.

    Navigating the intricacies of pardons, waivers, and record suspensions is a cornerstone of our practice at Sarah Leamon Law. We realize the crippling burden a criminal record can pose, hindering life opportunities and freedom. Our legal team in Vancouver is dedicated to providing legal guidance, assisting you in mitigating these impacts and ushering in a fresh start.

    Pardons and Their Transition into Record Suspensions

    In Canada, the term ‘pardon’ was used up until 2012 to represent a legal forgiveness granted to individuals with a criminal record who had demonstrated a period of good conduct.

    A pardon essentially meant that their criminal record was sealed and kept separate from other criminal records. This separation ensured that the pardoned individual’s criminal record would not show up in regular criminal record checks, making it easier for them to pursue opportunities in employment, housing, travel, and more.

    In 2012, the Canadian government replaced the term ‘pardon’ with ‘record suspension’ through the Safe Streets and Communities Act. While the concept largely remains the same, the change in terminology helps clarify its actual purpose.

    Rather than indicating forgiveness of past crimes, a record suspension suggests that the person’s criminal record is ‘suspended’ or put aside, provided they have completed their sentence and demonstrated good behavior.

    What is a Record Suspension?

    A record suspension allows individuals who have served their sentence and maintained good behavior to have their criminal record ‘set aside.’ However, it doesn’t erase the crime; it keeps the criminal record separate and inaccessible through a routine criminal record check.

    Who Can Apply for a Record Suspension?

    Applying for a record suspension in Canada involves specific eligibility criteria:

    • Completion of Sentence: You must have served all of your sentences, including imprisonment, probation, payment of fines, and restitution orders.
    • Waiting Period: You must have completed a certain waiting period, crime-free, after the end of your sentence. This period is five years for summary offences and ten years for indictable offences.
    • No Prohibited Crimes: Certain offences, especially those related to sexual crimes against minors, prohibit you from being eligible for a record suspension.
    • Good Conduct: You must demonstrate that you have been of good conduct, without any new charges, warnings, or convictions.
    • Paid all Due Amounts: All due amounts to the Receiver General for Canada regarding your conviction must be paid in full.

    Client Testimonials

    Read more reviews from past clients:
    Google Reviews or Lawyer Ratingz

    K.R., Google Review

    Lawyer Ratingz Review

    S.S., Google Review

    M., Google Review

    M.W., Google Review

    K.R., Google Review

    Lawyer Ratingz Review

    S.S., Google Review

    M., Google Review

    M.W., Google Review

    K.R., Google Review

    Lawyer Ratingz Review

    S.S., Google Review

    M., Google Review

    M.W., Google Review

    How to Apply for a Record Suspension

    The application process involves acquiring your criminal record, local police records checks, and court information, then filling out an application and submitting it to the Parole Board of Canada. This process can take over a year and requires accuracy to prevent delays or denials.

    How Do Record Suspensions Help?


    For immigration, a record suspension can demonstrate good character and increase the success of applications.

    Family Law and Child Custody

    In child custody cases, a clean record can support your position. A record suspension shows your commitment to a lawful lifestyle.

    U.S. Border and Travel

    While a record suspension does not guarantee U.S. entry, it can increase your chances when combined with a U.S. Entry Waiver.

    What is a Waiver?

    In the context of legal proceedings and travel, a waiver usually refers to a U.S. Entry Waiver. This is a document issued by the U.S. government granting permission for individuals with a criminal record or other legal inadmissibilities to enter the United States.

    Obtaining a U.S. Entry Waiver is important because individuals with a criminal record can face difficulties or outright denial when trying to cross the U.S. border. A waiver effectively “waives” these grounds of inadmissibility, allowing the individual to travel freely into the U.S for a specified period, usually between one to five years.

    How Do You Apply for a U.S. Entry Waiver?

    Applying for a U.S. Entry Waiver involves submitting the completed Form I-192 and accompanying documents, including a Canadian Police Certificate and proof of citizenship. Additional documents may be necessary depending on the applicant’s circumstances.

    You must submit the application to the Department of Homeland Security with the required fee. Given the complexity of the process and the precision required, many applicants seek legal assistance.

    How a Lawyer Can Help with a Record Suspension

    Lawyers can help navigate the complex process of applying for a record suspension, saving you time and increasing your chances of success. In some cases, a lawyer can also help with destroying mugshots, photographs, and fingerprints.

    Sarah Leamon Law’s team understands the complexities of obtaining pardons, waivers, and record suspensions. We aim to make this process simpler and more successful for you.

    Contact Sarah Leamon Law

    Your past doesn’t have to define your future. If you’re ready for a fresh start, contact Sarah Leamon Law, a leading Vancouver law firm for pardons, waivers, and record suspensions. Our experienced legal professionals are ready to guide you towards a brighter future. Get in touch with us today.

    Schedule a Free Initial Consultation

    If you have a criminal case, driving matter or family law issue in BC or Alberta, please call or e-mail Criminal Lawyer for a free consultation.