A conditional discharge is defined in this excerpt from the Criminal Code of Canada: 730. (1) Where an accused, other than an organization, pleads guilty to or is found guilty of an offence, other than an offence for which a minimum punishment is prescribed by law or an offence punishable by imprisonment for fourteen years or for life, the court before which the accused appears may, if it considers it to be in the best interests of the accused and not contrary to the public interest, instead of convicting the accused, by order direct that the accused be discharged absolutely or on the conditions[...]
A Conditional Discharge is like a Conviction in the United States Even though a discharge is not a conviction, it is still evidence of guilt, and may still render a person inadmissible to the United States. There are two types of discharges: absolute discharge conditional discharge Regardless of the type, the Criminal Code of Canada confirms that there has been a finding or admission of guilt. The United States treats a discharge the same as a conviction or any admission of guilt (ie. you admit to having committed offence even if not convicted). Criminal Code of Canada Sec 730 Conditional[...]
A Conditional Discharge is not a conviction. You cannot apply to have it sealed or suspended with a Canadian Pardon or Record Suspension. The good news is that a discharge automatically gets purged after a period of time. You do not have to spend hundreds of dollars to have it sealed or suspended. I have had people call me immediately after receiving a discharge to apply to have it erased so that it does not affect employment. The bad news is, a discharge will appear on your criminal record for a period of time before it gets purged. Though it[...]
I received a great email question regarding an absolute discharge. I thought I'd share it with you. I modified the question so that it it does not identify the person the inquiry was made for. Here is the question: A client of ours has inquired about applying for a Nexus Card. She was charged with possession of a small quantity of marijuana and was given an absolute discharge in provincial court in the 1970s. She obtained a pardon for this matter from the federal government in the early 1980s. Question: Will the U.S. be able to access this information in[...]
Since 1995, we have made it our mission to help people navigate the legal system in the friendliest way possible. We have simplified the legal process in cases involving uncontested divorces, separation agreements, US Waivers, Record Suspensions, and fingerprinting for thousands of clients.