Area of Law: Criminal Records
Answer # 2167
When is someone eligible for a File Purge?Region: Ontario Answer # 2167
A person is eligible to have a discharge purged once the waiting period has been met:
- one year for absolute discharges, and
- three years for conditional discharges.
This is regardless of any punishment imposed (e.g. probation or fine payment).
The waiting period begins to run from the final court date. The RCMP automatically purges discharges registered after July 24, 1992, once the waiting period has been met. In order to ensure that the purge has been completed, and for those discharges prior to July 24, 1992 not covered by this law, it is a good idea to get written confirmation of whether a record still exists at the RCMP. Once the RCMP purge is completed, it is necessary to remove the record at the local police.
It is important to note that even if the eligibility period has passed, and the RCMP has purged its files, some police services will not destroy the photographs, fingerprints, and outcome records if an unexpired prohibition order exists, such as if the person’s driver’s licence is suspended.
If you have been charged with a criminal offence, refer to our criminal law section.
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