22 Jun Why you want a pardon today!
Do you have a criminal record, but have left the life behind you? Whether serious penitentiary time or a couple of misdemeanour arrests lie in your past, you likely don’t want to be reminded of it all as you completely turn over a new leaf. Perhaps you are coming out of addictions, seeking help for past trauma, or simply realizing you want something different for your life, and so by completing the conditions of your parole, you know for sure you’ll never run afoul of the law again.
Or will you?
You may be keen to leave the past behind, but sometimes, the past won’t stay in its place. Today, if you are pulled over by police for a broken taillight, the officer will be able to press a few buttons and tell immediately that you have a criminal record. It’s not supposed to influence the way you are treated…but in real life, it often does.
There are so many reasons why, even if you think your criminal record is over and done with, you really want a pardon today. Here we’ll look at just two of them.
A criminal record can hurt your chances at custody and visitation of your children
You’d think that parents would always do what is best for their children, but in protracted custody battles across the country, that theory is being proven incorrect. Sometimes, parents use children as pawns or bargaining chips, and sometimes, judges don’t see through those tactics. For example, if you have a past criminal record for which you haven’t received a pardon, you may be living a clean life and be totally able and willing to care for and see your children. However, that criminal record could stand in the way – as just one more piece of ammunition a feuding ex can use against you.
An ex-spouse may not be the only party who has this information; if the Children’s Aid Society and/or other social services have gotten involved, they too will know about your past criminal record, and will have to testify to it. Particularly if you have been charged with domestic violence or a sex offense, you will definitely face an extremely uphill battle in the courts when it comes to access to your children.
An unpardoned criminal record can result in:
- Loss of custodial rights
- Limited or restricted visitation rights
- A non-removal order to prevent you from taking your children on a holiday or trip
Applying for a criminal pardon (also known as a record suspension) can help demonstrate to judges that you truly want to reintegrate into society, and that you are a now law-abiding citizen and intend to stay that way.
A criminal record can lead to reprisals at work
If you are lucky enough to be gainfully employed, you may listen with sympathy as your friends with criminal records are consistently rejected for jobs. However, having a job provides little protection against the stigma of a criminal record because your employer can actually demand a record check at any time – when company policy changes, for example.
In addition, you may be passed over for promotion, or even face dismissal once your record is discovered. Many employers don’t know the law and/or are counting on the fact that you won’t sue for discrimination if you are let go. Of course, they may find other reasons to let you go on paper when the real reason is your newly discovered criminal record. Then, you will be back in the highly competitive job market, attempting to secure a position while many more employers than ever before are conducting criminal checks from the get-go.
In summary…you want a pardon today.
As long as everyone from employers to judges is measuring your character by whether or not you have been in trouble with the law – no matter your subsequent rehabilitation – a record suspension (pardon) is a good way to prove that you have been out of trouble for a long period of time and are serious about change. Call us to get the process started immediately.