DUIs, almost known as Impaired Driving or Driving Under the Influence, is among Canada’s most common criminal charges.
How To Remove A DUI From Your Record
Each month, thousands of individuals are charged with being intoxicated on the road, leading them to suffer the consequences of their respected DUI charges, which can include fines, impounded cars, licence suspensions and mandatory in-vehicle breathalyzers and education programs.
But perhaps the most impactful consequence is that being a criminal charge, the DUI is stuck on your record, and it can have an impact on their lives in significant ways, including:
- It makes it difficult to get employment, as most employers in Canada conduct criminal record background checks. It can also impact your career advancement and self-managed business if you have one.
- Insurance premiums in future will rise significantly, making it difficult for you to get insurance, or if you do, pay over the top rates for it.
- You can also be turned away from the US border if you have a criminal record.
- You can also have issues with immigration as some countries, like the UK or Australia, who do not accept your entrance if you have a criminal charge to your name.
- If you are a foreigner living in Canada, your immigration status might be cancelled or denied. The Citizenship and Immigration Canada often rejects applications and frequently deport people who have criminal records.
- Custody of children is an issue as your visitation rights may be reduced or eliminated.
- Renting apartments or applying for credit might be a concern considering that people, banks and private lenders do not look kindly on those with records.
Thousands of people try to find ways to remove the charge from their record, but there is only one way you can truly remove the charge from your record: through a suspension, aka, a pardon.
What’s A Pardon?
A pardon allows people convicted of a criminal offence to have it removed once they complete their sentence and do not commit any further criminal activity during this period of time.
A Pardon For A DUI
The time period for criminal charges is dependent on whether your matter proceeded by way of indictment or summary conviction. It varies from charge to charge, but on average, almost all DUIs have a 5-year sentence, from the moment you pay the fine and are charged.
In some cases, it occurs once you complete the one-year driving prohibition, which in essence, means it’s a six-year wait before you can apply for a record suspension.
Since the application process, both preparation and submission, take time, it is best to start well in advance of your eligibility date.
How Do I Get A Pardon For My DUI?
You have to apply to the Parole Board of Canada (PBC), which has exclusive jurisdiction to grant, refuse, or revoke a pardon. There are multiple ways in which you can do this:
- You submit the application for the pardon yourself.
- You speak to a DUI lawyer that can help you with the application process, you are eligible and that your application is processed correctly.
- You go to a volunteer agency, such as Pardons Canada, that can help submit an application on your behalf.
On average, it takes between 12 to 24 months for the application to be processed and granted. You will have to collect proper supporting documents, such as completing driving classes, recent criminal records and charges, RCMP reports, and relevant court documents. It could take between three to six months to obtain these documents, so it is best to start earlier rather than later.
If you have completed your sentence, have provided all the proper supporting documents and have been of good conduct, your chances of success are enhanced greatly.
However, your application can be denied if you are not forthcoming with your past involvement with the courts and police, requiring that you provide full disclosure. The more honest you are, the better your chances of getting a pardon. If an application is denied, the Parole Board will accept a new application after one year.
What Happens After The Pardon Is Approved?
You will no longer have the DUI charge to your name, as the Canadian government has forgiven you of your past charges and no longer want the conviction to impact your character and livelihood. It will no longer be on your record, as it never happened.
So if you are asked: “Have you ever been convicted of a criminal offence?” you can respond by saying “NO!”.