Area of Law: Criminal Records
Answer # 2179
How can the "good conduct" assessment affect eligibility for a Record Suspension?Region: Ontario Answer # 2179
An important factor that the Parole Board (PBC) considers when evaluating Record Suspension (RS) applications – outside of completing the sentence ordered by the judge and waiting the requisite period of time – is if the applicant is of good conduct. The concept of good conduct is given a broad and comprehensive interpretation. The PBC officer in charge of processing the file will confirm whether the individual has led a crime-free life after the conviction, as well as having generally been of good behaviour.
In determining if the applicant was of good conduct, the PBC does not only consider subsequent convictions, but may deny an RS on the basis of any subsequent infractions of the law. For example, criminal charges, even where they resulted in a not-guilty outcome, might be enough to deny the application. In fact, in some cases, provincial offences, such as unpaid parking tickets or speeding violations, are the basis for a denial. The severity of the charge, how recent the event was, and the applicant’s explanation of the events, are all factors that the PBC officer will consider.
It is important to understand that the Criminal Records Act gives the PBC absolute discretionary powers to make the final decision as to whether an RS application will be successful. Only one PBC officer, who then makes his or her recommendations to the Board, usually reviews each application. The PBC officer’s recommendation is almost always followed by the Board. Statistics show that only 2% of the applications (that are accepted for processing) are denied, suggesting that most applicants have remained crime-free and have been of good conduct.
If you have been charged with a criminal offence, refer to our criminal law section.
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