Area of Law: Criminal Records
Answer Number: 2160
How to remove a criminal recordRegion: Ontario Answer Number: 2160
If you have been accused and charged with a crime and you were fingerprinted, or you attended criminal court as the accused, you do have a criminal record – even if you were found not-guilty. With limited exceptions, criminal records do not automatically get removed. It is up to the individual to take the necessary steps to remove their record.
How to remove a criminal record
How a criminal record will be removed depends on a variety of factors, such as: the outcome of the charges, the number of charges, and the policies of the charging police service. Generally speaking however:
- if the outcome resulted in a not-guilty verdict, a destruction of the person’s fingerprints and photographs and the destruction or sealing of the outcome record is required
- an offence that was discharged requires a purge and a destruction
- a conviction requires a record suspension (formerly called a pardon)
The rules for destroying, purging or sealing a criminal record are constantly changing. It is a good idea, therefore, to seek the assistance of a record removal professional.
If you have been charged with a criminal offence, refer to our criminal law section.
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