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Clearing a Criminal Record in Canada: A Complete Guide

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Clearing a Criminal Record in Canada

Around 3.8 Canadians are currently living with a criminal record – so if you’ve got one, you’re in good company! This is a record you receive when you are convicted of a crime. It records the details of your conviction and the penalties you faced (such as jail time, probation, or fines.) 

Federal, provincial, and municipal bodies all hold a copy of these records. However, anyone doing a background check on you can access information about them. This can make it very difficult for people with a criminal record to pass employment and travel checks.

Thankfully, it is possible to clear your criminal records in a few simple steps. Want to know more? Then you’ve come to the right place! 

Read on to find out everything you need to know about clearing a criminal record in Canada.

Benefits of Clearing a Criminal Record

In your day-to-day life, having a criminal record might not affect you that much.

Depending on your conviction, there may be certain limitations on places that you can go or where you can live. But your record won’t affect activities such as shopping for groceries, exercising, and seeing friends or family.

However, it can stand in the way of certain opportunities including: 

  • Applying for a new job
  • Volunteering 
  • Traveling outside of the country

These processes can involve getting a background check and your criminal record will show up on these, no matter how long ago it happened.

Some convictions can stand in the way of your opportunities more than others. For example, getting a visa to visit the United States with a criminal record for drug-related activity is extremely difficult. 

A potential employer may be willing to overlook a very old conviction but clearing your record means you don’t have to take this chance. You can resume life as normal without worrying that your past will catch up with you.

Different Ways of Clearing Criminal Records in Canada

There are two different ways that you can clear a criminal record in Canada: 

  1. Apply for a record suspension
  2. Apply to expunge your record

A record suspension is the simplest way to clear your record. This essentially seals parts of your record so they do not appear on employer or travel searches.

If you make a successful application, your criminal record will be held by the Minister of Public Safety. They are only allowed to share this information in very specific circumstances or if your suspension has been revoked. 

Expunging your record is more in-depth and essentially involves overturning your conviction. This can happen for several reasons including: 

  • If your conviction can now be viewed as a historic injustice
  • If your actions are no longer deemed to have been criminal
  • If your actions would not be criminal if you committed them today

Changes to the law or social justice movements can all help to support appeals for expungement.

Is Getting a Record Suspension Worth It?

Before you apply for a record suspension, it is important to consider whether or not you need a record suspension. There are certain criteria you must meet in order to be eligible for a record suspension. You must: 

  • Have been convicted under federal law rather than provincial law. For example, offenses under the Criminal Code and the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act are eligible for suspension. 
  • Have completed each area of your summary offense sentencing for a minimum of five years before applying or
  • Have completed each area of your indictable offense sentencing for a minimum of ten years before applying. 
  • Be able to cover the cost of your record suspension administration (more on this later.) 

In general, you cannot get a record suspension for convictions of sexual offenses against children. Having multiple convictions on your record can also make getting a suspension harder. If you have three serious convictions resulting in two or more years of jail time each, you will not be able to get a suspension.

You do not need to apply for a suspension if: 

  • You have a record for a youth offense
  • You have received a conditional or an absolute discharge

Think getting a record suspension is possible for your previous convictions? Then, let’s take a look at exactly how to get a record suspension in Canada.

Applying for Record Suspensions

There are several steps you need to take when applying for a record suspension. 

First, you need to visit your local police station to complete a Fingerprint Form. This involves getting your fingerprints taken and does come with a fee. When you do this, it is important that your Fingerprint Form notes that you wish to apply for a record suspension. 

Once you have completed this, you can post your Fingerprint Form to the Civil Fingerprint Screening Service in Ontario. You also need to enclose the fee of $25. You can provide this as a money order, as a bank draft, or as a cheque. 

Then you need to get your hands on a Record Suspension Guide from the Parole Board of Canada. This includes all the application forms that you need. You can: 

  • Download this from the Record Suspensions website
  • Request a copy via email (suspensions@pbc-clcc.gc.ca)
  • Request a copy by calling 1-800-874-2652 (toll-free) 

Once you have your guide, follow the step-by-step instructions. You will need to provide a lot of detailed information so pay attention to detail while you do this.

Waiting for a Decision 

Once you have submitted your application, you have to wait for a decision from the Parole Board. On average, this takes six months for summary convictions or twelve months for indictable convictions.

If you submit an incomplete application for a record suspension, the whole process will take longer.

When this happens, the Canada Parole Board will return your application to you and ask you to provide the missing information. You only have one opportunity to do this, so make sure that you go through everything thoroughly. 

To understand the ins and outs of this process better, let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions about how to clear a criminal record.

How Long Does it Take to Apply for a Record Suspension?

Applying for a record suspension involves a lot of paperwork and this means it usually takes between 12 and 24 months to complete. Applying for an expungement can take even longer. 

However, if you do neither, your criminal record lasts until your 125th birthday. So in the grand scheme of things, applying to clear it is much quicker!

How Much Does Applying for a Record Suspension Cost? 

Before you apply, it is important to be aware of all the costs involved. You will have to cover these yourself. 

The Canada Parole board charges a processing fee of $631 for each application it receives. This may be higher if they have to return your application to you for completion. You also have to cover: 

  • $25 for the Civil Fingerprint Screening Service
  • The cost of obtaining a Fingerprint Form 
  • Postage costs

If you hire a lawyer to help with your application this will obviously make the process more expensive. So making sure that you have enough money in the bank before applying is key.

Can You Apply Posthumously? 

It is possible to clear someone’s criminal record on their behalf after their death. This often happens if someone has been unlawfully convicted of a crime and friends or family want to clear their legacy. 

However, in order to clear a record posthumously, you have to get a record expungement. You cannot get a record suspension for someone who is dead.

This is mainly because a record suspension serves a practical purpose, in helping ex-convicts move on with their lives. A posthumous clearing is more symbolic and therefore requires a full expungement. 

In order to apply for a posthumous expungement, you will need to provide: 

  • Documentation confirming the death of the deceased 
  • Documentation supporting your relationship to them to show that you can apply on their behalf
  • In-depth information about their conviction history

A family member, friend, or legal representative can apply for a posthumous expungement on behalf of the deceased.

Does Anyone Keep a Record of Your Conviction Afterwards? 

If you make a successful application for a record suspension, your record will not immediately be destroyed. Instead, a federal agency will hold it. 

Only the Minister for Public Safety can disclose details of this record in very specific circumstances. For example, if the police arrest and charge you for a similar crime they may be able to access these records. However, this only happens if the Minister for Public Safety deems it relevant and important (which doesn’t happen often.) 

If the Parole Board revokes your suspension for any reason, the federal agency will no longer hold or seal your record.

If you successfully expunge your record then copies of it will be destroyed. No federal agencies will retain a copy of your records. When this happens, you can honestly tell people that you have never received a conviction for the crime in question.

Some provincial police forces or courts may retain a copy of your conviction as part of their own historic records. However, they will receive notification of the expungement. In many cases, they will then destroy their copy of your record although this is not a federal requirement.

What Happens If the Parole Board Denies Your Record Suspension Application?

In some cases, the Parole Board may deny your record suspension application. This is quite a rare occurrence if you have filled in all the information correctly. 

This can happen if you have recently been in trouble with the police, even if you have not received a criminal conviction. 

If the Parole Board denies your application, you can make an appeal for your case. This involves demonstrating to them that you have reformed your behavior. Often it is helpful to get a lawyer’s assistance when making an appeal to the Parole Board.

What Happens If You Cannot Remember the Details of Your Conviction? 

It is extremely important that you provide accurate information on your application. This usually includes providing information about: 

  • The date of your conviction 
  • The arresting police service
  • The court that convicted you
  • The exact details of your conviction and sentence 

Even unintentional errors in these can affect the success of your application. 

If you are struggling to recall these details, you can request a copy of your criminal record. This is should be stored at the National Repository of Criminal Records.

Do You Need to Get Legal Assistance to Clear a Criminal Record?

When applying to clear a criminal record some people do prefer to seek help from a record suspensions attorney, such as Freedom Law

This can be a helpful way of ensuring you fill in your record suspension application properly. An attorney can also help you access your records and file an appeal if you want to. However, it isn’t absolutely necessary to get legal support when applying for a record suspension 

It is a good idea to get help if you decide to apply for an expungement though. This is a more complicated process and requires detailed legal knowledge so it is a good idea to have an expert in your corner. 

Clear Your Record Today! 

As you can see, when it comes to clearing a criminal record in Canada you have a few options.

If you feel that your conviction is no longer in line with Canadian law, you may want to look at expungement. However, applying for a record suspension is a lot easier. This is a fix that ensures your criminal record won’t appear on travel or employment background searches.

For more help organizing all areas of your life, check out the rest of our ‘how to’ guides now. 

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How to get a restraining order in California

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restraining order

A court’s primary purpose is to protect human rights, and nobody can confiscate another person’s right. Thus, the court issues different legal orders to protect and save the right of human beings. Here, we discuss a restraining order.

What is a restraining order?

A restraining order is a court order which protects the person from threatening, harassing, abusing, and stalking another person. When a person proves that he/she is in danger or someone will harm her, the court issues a restraining order to protect the person from any threat or abuse. Once a restraining order is issued, that person cannot harm the protective person. If he goes against the order, the court will take serious action against him.

Thus, a restraining order is also known as a protective order. A person who is in danger or protected is known as a protective party, and the other or threatening person is known as a restrained party. The protected parties can be children, spouses, ex-girlfriends and boyfriends, coworkers, roommates, neighbors, etc.

California law issues restraining orders for;

  • Domestic violence
  • Civil harassment
  • Elder abuse or dependent adult abuse
  • Workplace-violence

You can obtain a domestic violence protective order when you face a threat or abuse from your blood relationships, current or previous husband, and you feel you and your children are in danger. If you are an employee and want to protect yourself from danger from the misuse of office authoritative, you can file for a workplace violence restraining order.

When you face harassment, sexual assault, or stalking by someone, you can protect yourself by getting civil harassment restraining order. Similarly, when you’re 65 years or above can get a restraining order. California court also issues protective orders for mentally or physically disabled people.

A court issues three types of restraining orders depending on the situations these are;

Emergency protective order (EPO); It is issued immediately and is enforceable for 5-business days and 7-calender days.

Temporary protective order (TPO); is enforceable for 20-25 days. After hearing judge decides whether a permanent protective order is issued or not.

Permanent protective order (PPO); lasts for five years. If the situation is uncontrollable, a judge extends the order date for the next five years.

How to get a restraining order in California?

If you want to get a restraining order, visit the California courts and fill out the all-important forms that are mandatory for getting the order. You can get help from a professional attorney or family lawyer to guide you on completing the paperwork.

You have to provide an authentic reason why you want to restraining order against another person. While you complete the forms and pay filing charges, your file moves to the court clerk and proceeds to the judge. If you need an instant protective order, you have to file a motion with the application, a commissioner or law officer issued an emergency protective order.

A judge reviews your petition and decides whether or not to issue a temporary protective order. If the judge issues it, it will work for 20-25 days. And the restraining order will be provided to the restrained party.

After this, the court calls both parties (protective and restrained) to hear their arguments. A judge analyzes the argument of both parties and decides whether or not to issue a permanent restraining order. If the evidence or arguments favor the protected party, a judge issues the permanent protective order, enforceable for the next five years.

Conclusion:

California law issues a restraining order to protect someone from the threat, abuse, and harassment of another person. The benefit of this order is that the retrained person cannot harm or insult you; even if he lives in your home; he must leave your home after issuing the protective order until it is enforceable. You can get a restraining order from California courts by providing a genuine reason and completing the paperwork. A court issues a restraining order; the restrained person can’t hurt you until you have a protective order.

Reference:

https://paloaltodivorcelawyers.com

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How many legal systems are in Canada? Importance of studying Canadian law?

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Canada is a nation governed by strict laws, which are actionable throughout the country and is well understood by its citizens. The Canadian legal system is the platform based on which all laws are created, organized, enforced, and interpreted. This blog will give you a deeper insight into the foundations of Canadian law and why you should choose to pursue it.

A brief introduction of the different types of Canadian law

Criminal law is a broad category which includes all the scariest and sensational crimes, including murder, theft, assault, kidnapping, and fraud. It is generally understood nationally and involves every effort being made to maintain or regulate social order and public safety or morality. Read more

Federal laws also referred to as federal acts, are laws that are established to regulate or gain control a situation under Canada’s national government constitutional authority. It is passed by the Parliament of Canada, as part of the national security division.

What else should you know? Well, one thing. City or Municipal governments can sometimes pass laws too called by laws. Though a majority of these laws are supervised by elected politicians, presently a good percentage of law seems to originate from some level of the provincial, federal, or municipal. They are generally concerned with minor matters like pet licenses or garbage collection. 

Why should you choose to study Canadian Law?

By choosing to study Canadian law, candidates can reach the basic qualification to practice law in no time. Law graduates can also benefit from the inflow of an accelerated number of superior positions they are eligible for. This also makes room for their basic salary to increase.

It is mandatory for all potential candidates interested in practising law to get into an entry-level position first, which leads to a more advanced form of employment. The best part? With increased career options, comes along the opportunity to start specialising in a field of your preference. Other benefits include internships, which are a standard requirement, for allowing students to kick start their professional journey.

The primary career that you can aspire to achieve as a Canadian law student is a lawyer. The education system here in Canada is set up for students to land a position as a legal secretary or paralegal. These professionals are mainly accountable for minor administrative tasks, such as legal document retrieval, transcribing, legal research and scheduling, to mention a few.

The hands-on training provided during a Canadian Law study will let you acquire foundational experience that is a requirement in all these kinds of legal position. Pursuing an academic degree is the most effective way to prepare before practising law. If you are interested in beginning their education in Canadian law then reach out to us to gain additional help in advance. We will guide you through your extensive research before enrolling to the multiple programs that our college has to offer you. Apply to a course soon! Read more

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Why Truck Driver Fatigue Causes Serious Problems

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Truck driver fatigue poses a danger everywhere they go. They cause problems when driving through tight, narrow streets where other drivers may have no room to maneuver.

The Dangers Caused by Fatigued Truck Drivers

Fatigued truck drivers cause hundreds of fatalities in the United States through deadly road accidents each year.  The size of their vehicles makes drowsy truck drivers even more dangerous to the other vehicles sharing the road with them.

These are some of the main problems caused by drowsiness:

Fatigued truck drivers may not react to changing conditions

The conditions on roads are subject to change at any time. Truck drivers need to react accordingly when these changes occur, be it when they encounter a driver who suddenly brakes or navigating on an icy patch on the road. Fatigue may cause truck drivers to have slow reflexes, which makes it difficult to keep up with the conditions around them on the road.

Fatigued drivers fail to notice their surroundings

Drowsiness makes it difficult for truck drivers to keep up with the moving traffic around them. Truck drivers need to keep track of other vehicles on the road with them. They have to be alert and mindful of their trucks to ensure they keep their cargo as safe as possible.

Tunnel vision is also another impact of fatigue on truck drivers. This means drivers may lose sensory alertness from anything but what takes place directly in front of them.

Fatigued drivers often drift out of their lanes

While crossing between lanes, fatigued drivers often let their vehicles wander between lanes. Drifting into another lane without paying attention may cause serious problems because most trucks do not have extra room to maneuver in between lanes. They often cause head-on collisions and side-wipe collisions.

Fatigued drivers may be dazed

Since they spend many hours on the road, truck drivers may become dazed and drive without concentrating, it makes it impossible for them to navigate their truck safely on the road. Fatigued drivers often drive in a haze, and are unable to think clearly while driving. This makes them not able to adjust to challenges or respond quickly to threats that may lead to accidents.

Drowsiness increases poor decision-making.

Fatigued truck drivers may experience symptoms of extreme fatigue that mimic those of intoxication. They may struggle to make safe choices or worse, not realize that they need to pull off the road, whether to take a rest or find a safe place to sleep for the night.

This may also mean that they will take more chances and resort to speeding to reach their destinations as fast as possible before running out of the hours they’re legally allowed to spend on the road. Fatigued drivers may also ignore safety precautions which may, in turn, lead to raising the risk of accidents happening on the road.

Having an attorney by your side if a fatigued truck driver injures you in an accident can help you seek the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

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How To Build A Strong Personal Injury Case

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A personal injury lawyer is a professional who specializes in helping people who another’s negligence has injured. Whether through a car accident, slip and fall, or other acts of negligence and carelessness, this professional attorney will help you file a lawsuit against the party in question and see that they are held responsible for their actions. A personal injury lawyer is a precious resource in this regard and can help you get the compensation you need.

10 Ways to Build A Strong Personal Injury Case

Knowing the ins and outs of personal injury law can build a strong case for your own needs. A professional lawyer can help you along the way, but here are seven tips that you can use to make a strong case yourself.

1. Find Witnesses

The more witnesses you have to confirm the details about your accident, the stronger your case will be for compensation. It includes the event itself and what happened before and after. It shows the circumstances of your injuries, how you were injured, and how you were treated afterward.

2. Check for Fault

You can build a robust case with little or no evidence by checking for fault. You will only use this if you have limited or no witness support or other evidence. However, it is still essential to understand who is at fault before conversing with an attorney.

3. Compel Documents and Statements

If your injuries do not cause you physical pain, this is more of a mental thing. However, you can still use this to your advantage by obtaining statements from doctors, police officers, and even the other party’s insurance company filing the claim. It shows them that you want something to be done that they should be legally required to do.

4. Control the Litigation

It refers to being aware of what you are putting into your complaint and the statement of claims. The more detailed you are, the more compelling the case will be in court. A personal injury lawyer would suggest using complete sentences instead of bullet points and descriptive words instead of abbreviations to describe everything that happened.

5. Collect Important Documents

It would be best to have medical records, police reports, and other vital information to build a strong case. It is more important than most people realize. However, it may not be easy to get this information due to confidentiality issues or the fact that you were only asked to sign an accident form and did not have time to read it at the time of your accident thoroughly. Your injury lawyer will help you do this if you can’t or don’t want to do it yourself.

6. Secure All Evidence

Specific evidence will be good to have, but you will also want to secure it if you need it later on. It is an essential part of building a solid case, and your injury lawyer can help you with this. Getting certain information, such as a medical bill, can be challenging because of patient confidentiality and other issues.

7. Gather the Facts

It is essential to build a solid personal injury case because you need all of the facts about your accident if you want to win. It would be best if you attempted to be as thorough as possible. It includes contacting witnesses, police officers, and any other person who may know about your accident to build your case.

8. Know Your Law

It is essential to understand your state’s laws on personal injury to build a strong case. It is one thing that any personal injury lawyer would do for you if they were hired as your counsel.

9. Gain Support as Soon as Possible

It is an integral part of the process because you need to have the support of a personal injury lawyer in your case right away so that they can begin to work on it and get ready for trial. You should find a lawyer who you trust and who understands what you’re going through, even if it takes a few weeks before getting started.

10. Realize Your Rights

A personal injury lawyer is a professional who is good at what they do, which means they know the ins and outs of the law. Remembering your rights when in court can be intimidating, but it is essential to know them to use them to your advantage.

Conclusion

It is important to remember that a personal injury lawyer should always be your first step because they know the law and will help guide you through the process if you need it. However, you should still do your part by compiling evidence, building a solid case, and understanding all of the specifics of your accident so that you are ready in case there are any questions. For more information, check on yourlawyer.com.

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How Long Does a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Take in Georgia?

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Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit

If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident, you may be wondering how long it takes to file a lawsuit. The key is to prove that the other party was at fault for the accident. To do this, you’ll need to gather evidence and build your case within the statute of limitations for motorcycle accident claims. This is generally two years for injuries and four years for property damage. Once you’ve completed this process, you’ll have two options: accept the settlement offer or reject it. If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact the professional attorneys of Dozier Law Firm today.

First, make sure you get medical care immediately after the accident. Make sure to tell your doctor about the nature and extent of your injuries. Even if your injuries aren’t immediately noticeable, they may take some time to manifest. Medical records that link to the motorcycle accident will be vital to your claim. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you must wait for the medical treatment to manifest. Once you’ve sought medical attention, you should make sure that you keep a copy of your medical records.

The statute of limitations for motorcycle accidents varies from state to state, but in general, you have two years to file a claim. This period is different for each state, but in general, it takes at least a year to build a strong case. To make sure your claim is filed within time, contact a motorcycle accident lawyer today. If you don’t file your claim within this timeframe, you may forfeit your right to seek financial recovery.

If you file a motorcycle accident lawsuit in Georgia, you have to provide notice of your claim within two years of the accident. If the other party is responsible for the accident, your attorney can file a personal injury lawsuit against them or against the driver’s insurance company. During this time, your attorney will gather evidence to present at trial. Then, the court will hear your claim and determine the best course of action.

If you’re suffering from a serious injury, you’ll need to consult an attorney immediately. You may need to be out of work for a time period, and your medical bills may begin to pile up. A motorcycle accident lawsuit can take a few years to settle, depending on its complexity and the severity of the injuries. Therefore, it’s important to hire a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as possible to maximize your recovery and compensation.

Many motorcycle accident victims are left feeling confused, angry, and frustrated. But they don’t have to wait until they’re fully recovered to start a lawsuit. Many accident lawyers offer free case evaluations, home visits, or hospital visits. Many lawyers are also willing to visit you in the hospital to discuss your situation. It’s crucial to find a lawyer who is familiar with your case and can provide you with the right legal counsel.

When filing a lawsuit, you’ll have to establish that the other party was at fault for the accident. You’ll also need to prove how much money you lost due to the accident, including medical expenses and lost wages. In addition to the financial loss you’ll incur, you’ll also need to show that you suffered emotional and psychological pain. Punitive damages, on the other hand, are intended to punish the party who committed egregious behavior.

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