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The Consequences of a Criminal Record in Canada: What You Need to Know

In Canada, having a criminal record can have severe short- and long-term repercussions. A criminal record in Canada may have various consequences, including:

  1. Employment consequences: Finding work can be challenging since many employers run background checks and may be hesitant to hire someone with a criminal record. Finding a job may be difficult as a result, particularly in certain industries.
  2. Travel restrictions: Some countries have stringent admission criteria for those with criminal records, which may make it difficult or impossible to travel there.
  3. Immigration: Having a criminal record can have significant immigration consequences in Canada. It can make it more challenging to enter the country, and it can also lead to deportation if you are already living in Canada.

It is important to remember that the effects of having a criminal record might fluctuate based on the type of act committed and the case’s particulars. If you are worried about the potential repercussions of having a criminal record, it is a good idea to speak with a criminal defence lawyer.

Employment Consequences

Employers often do not have unrestricted access to a person’s criminal history in Canada. It’s crucial to remember that an employer needs the person’s permission before requesting their criminal history. A person has the freedom to decline to allow a criminal history check, but doing so can make it less likely that they will get the job in issue.

It is lawful to do a criminal record check, often known as a police history check. In Ontario, it’s legal for an employer to examine a person’s criminal history. Except for the “vulnerable sector check” mentioned below, any employer may perform these background checks without belonging to a specific industry or requiring special justification. 

Municipal police, such as the Toronto Police Service or provincial services, like the Ontario Provincial Police, can provide criminal record checks. Additionally, there are private companies that offer employers services for police record checks.

The Police Record Checks Reform Act is the legislation that controls police record checks in Ontario. This law permits the following three sorts of police record checks for employers to conduct:

  1. Check for adult criminal convictions and findings of guilt in accordance with the Youth Criminal Justice Act.
  2. Criminal record and judicial matters check, which may reveal any adult criminal convictions, convictions made under the Youth Criminal Justice Act during the access period, arrest warrants, conditional and absolute discharges, and certain court orders. 

  3. A vulnerable sector check includes the same information that is disclosed in a criminal record and judicial matters check, as well as court rulings that a person is not criminally responsible due to a mental disorder, record suspensions, pardons related to sexual offences, and in some cases, information about charges that did not result in a conviction. Only employers who have employees or volunteers in positions of trust or control over minors (under the age of 18) or vulnerable individuals are permitted to seek a vulnerable sector check.

Travel Restrictions

A criminal record affects your ability to travel in several ways. Depending on their rules, a country may refuse you entrance if you have a criminal past. If you have committed a crime of “moral turpitude,” which indicates that the illegal act violates the sentiment or accepted standard of the community, entry to America can be refused. A few examples of “moral turpitude” crimes are aggravated assault, murder, and fraud. Canada and the US share criminal database information; thus, they are both aware of any criminal offences committed by their citizens. Most Canadians with criminal records can still apply for passports; however, if you are found guilty and your sentence includes a restriction against having a passport, your application may be rejected.

Immigration Consequences

Depending on where you are in the process of applying for citizenship, having a criminal record could negatively affect your immigration application (permanent resident, refugee, visitor and so on). Depending on the seriousness of the sentence, having a criminal record can cause the application process for permanent residence in Canada to take longer.

If you have a record for serious offences, your application will either move slowly or you might potentially be deported. If you’re already a permanent resident, a crime like armed robbery could result in you being stripped of your PR status, which could then lead to deportation.

Even less severe offences like simple assault can cause your immigration application to be rejected or delayed. 

Toronto Criminal Lawyer

Alexander Karapancev is a seasoned criminal defence lawyer in Toronto with offices both in the city and in Mississauga. He is aware of the enormous challenges that come with being accused of a serious crime. In these circumstances, both your personal and professional lives could be affected. Throughout Ontario, he represents his clients in court with tenacity and professionalism. Call our office immediately if you need a top criminal attorney in Toronto.

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Alexander Karapancev

Alexander Karapancev is a Toronto criminal lawyer practicing throughout the province of Ontario. He regularly serves as lead trial counsel on serious and complex criminal cases. He is the founder of Karapancev Law, a law firm representing clients facing criminal charges, regulatory offences, and professional discipline proceedings.

Mr. Karapancev has acted as counsel in hundreds of cases throughout the province of Ontario, regularly representing clients at trials, applications, bail hearings and preliminary inquiries. He is regularly retained to defend individuals charged with serious allegations of fraud, drug trafficking, DUI offences, domestic assault, and sexual assault. Prior to founding his law firm, Mr. Karapancev practiced criminal defence at a boutique Toronto law firm and also served as a per diem Crown prosecutor.

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