How does a record suspension application work in a case of drunk driving?

Were you or a loved one convicted of driving with impaired faculties? In addition to the emotional consequences and the gravity of the offense, this conviction will automatically appear on your criminal record.

You may or may not be aware that there’s a solution to have the offense removed from your active record. Although this request for record suspension was formerly called a “pardon”, the procedure doesn’t actually mean that you’re pardoned in the traditional sense of the word but, rather, that you commit to behave as a good citizen and that your criminal past doesn’t reflect the person you are today.

Would you like to embark on this process? Learn more about the different stages, requirements and benefits of submitting a record suspension application.

What exactly is a record suspension application in a case of drunk driving?

Driving with impaired faculties is a criminal offense that subsequently appears on your criminal record. Your record is property of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), which files your documents with those of other criminals unless you submit a record suspension application. What exactly happens if your application is approved? The RCMP doesn’t destroy your record; they simply make it confidential, except under very specific circumstances. Even though the details of the crime become confidential, you should be aware that the fact that you’ve been found guilty won’t be erased by having the offense expunged from your record.

With regard to the required deadlines for submitting a record suspension application, they will vary depending on the gravity of the offense and whether it entailed a fine or a period of imprisonment. In the case of a jail sentence, you must wait 5 or 10 years after serving your time before you can make your case.

The stages of a record suspension application

Contact a criminal law firm.

The average person is unfamiliar with all the ins and outs of the rehabilitation process for driving with impaired faculties. That’s why it’s preferable for you to surround yourself with professionals who can help you build your case and understand all of the steps you’re about to take.

Verify your eligibility.

As we’ve mentioned, depending on the gravity of your offense, you may have to wait a certain amount of time before you can submit your application. To learn all of the requirements, consult the website of the Parole Board of Canada, which is the institution responsible for granting requests for record suspension.

Exhibit impeccable conduct.

Make sure that you’ve paid all of your fines and that you haven’t committed any further offenses. In short, demonstrate that you’re making every effort to redeem yourself.

File your application and be patient.

Once your application is ready, you can submit it and pay the corresponding fees. You’ll need time to build a solid case, and you’ll have to wait between 6 and 12 months before you receive a response. But don’t forget that it’s well worth the effort.

Criminal lawyer Martine Thibodeau, a specialist in criminal offenses, knows better than anyone that legal proceedings can be complicated and disheartening. If you’re looking for a legal resource that’s reliable, skilled and attentive, don’t hesitate to contact her to find out what services she offers that could satisfy your needs.


iDentité Québec. Les grandes étapes d’une demande de pardon [The main stages of a record suspension application]. 2016.
National Pardon Centre. Pardons Canada: Information and answers. 2022.

Recent Posts
Contact us
violence conjugalevol à l'étalage