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Definition - What does Pardon mean?

A pardon is the suspension of a criminal record where a person, who has been convicted of contravening a law, applies to have their criminal conviction sealed and separated from other records. The granting and issuing of a pardon is regulated in Canada by the Criminal Records Act and executed by the Parole Board of Canada. Rules vary from country to country. In the United States, governors and the President can issue pardons depending on the type of offense and the jurisdiction. A pardon can be referred to as a record suspension.

SureHire explains Pardon

A pardon varies from country to country. In Canada, it can be applied for where a person has been convicted of a criminal offense and has conducted themselves lawfully and has completed their sentence 5 to 10 years prior to applying. Third parties can be used to make the application to the Parole Board on the applicant's behalf. The process typically takes one to two years for completion. A pardon that has been issued will not be traceable through the Canadian Police Information Center.

In the United States, some pardons are purely political, such as pardons by the President of non-violent drug offenders in an effort to relived prison overcrowding and make a statement of policy with relation to drug laws.

Regardless of the circumstances, some of
the benefits of receiving a pardon are the improved chances of gaining employment and career progression. A pardon does not remove a criminal record entirely in Canada but merely sets it aside.

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