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Best New Year’s Resolution? Erase Your Criminal Record

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A new year is a time to look towards the future. According to data cited by the Globe and Mail, more than two-thirds of Canadians report that they make a New Year’s resolution. The central purpose of a New Year’s resolution is to take action that will help improve one’s life. If you have a criminal record, one of the single most important things you can do is to take action to expunge it to the maximum extent allowable under the law. In this article, our New Westminster criminal defence lawyer explains the most important things to know about cleaning up your criminal record in 2022. 

How a Criminal Record Can Adversely Impact Your Life:

The term ‘criminal record’ is used to describe a broad range of adverse information. As explained by the Government of British Columbia, a criminal record can include everything from outstanding charges to charges that were dropped to convictions. Unfortunately, a criminal record can impact a person in a number of different unfavorable ways, even after a case is fully resolved. A criminal record could have a negative effect on: 

  • Employment;
  • Educational opportunities;
  • Volunteering opportunities;  
  • Mortgage loans;
  • Rental housing; and
  • Foreign travel, including to the United States. 

While a criminal record can make things more challenging, there is good news: Canada has some of the strongest and most comprehensive ‘second chance’ laws in the entire world. In other words, it is easier to erase and/or conceal a criminal record in Canada than it is in most other countries. If you have a criminal record in British Columbia, you may have options available for clearing your name.

An Overview of Criminal Record Laws in British Columbia

Were you charged with or convicted of a criminal offense in British Columbia? If so, there is likely a public criminal record in your case—that is unless you have received a Canadian Pardon. Also frequently referred to as a ‘Record Suspension, a Canadian Pardon is a process through which an individual can erase their criminal records from public view. You do not need to choose specific records. If you are eligible, your entire criminal history can be made confidential. 

When granted, a Canadian Pardon application will effectively “separate” a person from their criminal record. All pre-existing records can be sealed (erased) from public view. Many people who have fully resolved their case are eligible to erase their records—so that they can get a true fresh start. To get a pardon, you must submit a comprehensive application. A criminal defence lawyer can help determine if you are eligible and assist with the application process.

Get Help From Our New Westminster, BC Criminal Defence Attorney Today

At N.J. Preovolos Law Corporation, our British Columbia criminal defence lawyer is a skilled, future-focused advocate for clients. If you have any questions about erasing a criminal record in Canada, we can help. Contact usnow for a completely confidential case review. With an office in New Westminster, our criminal defence attorney helps people with erasing records throughout British Columbia, including in Vancouver, Surrey, Burnaby, Abbotsford, and Chilliwack.