Criminal Record

Your criminal record isn’t something that can be easily fixed or ignored, even if the accusations against you were originally false. Once something is on your adult criminal record, it will remain for 80 years before it is wiped away.

What is a Criminal Record?

Criminal records are not simple files that hold only your name, age, and conviction.

Your criminal record contains information such as fingerprints, any identifying marks, previous convictions and charges, DNA, and anything else that may be used to identify you. Even in the case where you are found innocent of a charge, it will appear on your record.

If you are convicted of a charge, it will appear on the record kept by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and made available to all police stations throughout Canada via the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC). Once created, a criminal record may be accessed by certain authorized agencies, security forces, individuals, and even USA law enforcement.

Areas of Your Life that a Criminal Record Will Affect

Criminal records can greatly hinder your life in multiple ways. They won’t impact only your interactions with police and how future charges are addressed but also impact various aspects of your everyday life.


When applying for a job in Canada, you will likely be asked to sign a form that allows an employer to request a copy of your criminal record from the CPIC. While there are laws in place to prevent workplace discrimination, there are no laws that prohibit employers from rejecting your application based on the presence of a criminal record.

If you have no convictions, employers may be more willing to offer you a job, but there is no guarantee. The stigma surrounding criminal records, especially when you have been required to serve jail time for a conviction, is high and will make employers wary of hiring you.

Citizenship for Migrants

If you are a migrant that has a criminal record, you are likely to face difficulties if you choose to apply for a green card or citizenship. Certain charges or convictions will further complicate your request for citizenship, especially if Canadian police have already requested you leave the country.

Adoption, Child Custody, and Foster Care

In the case where you decide to adopt a child, either with or without a spouse, you’ll be required to undergo a vulnerable sector check. The adoption agency may perform the check, or you may be requested to file for one and send the results to the agency.

While these checks for adoption are not permitted under the Criminal Records Act, they may be allowed in order to check for any prior sex offences or charges related to children. Most adoption agencies will make it a requirement whether you’re adopting internationally or within Canada.

You’ll also be expected to complete a vulnerable sector check if you wish to become a foster parent or during custody cases, for which a judge may use your criminal record as evidence of bad character and hinder your chances of getting custody of your child.

Having a criminal record may disqualify you from being a foster parent depending on the listed charges and convictions. If anything on your record involves children, you will be disqualified.


As criminal records can be accessed by USA law enforcement, you may be denied access across the border. Some countries are very strict about travelling with a criminal record. If you’re going to the European Union, the UK, or Japan, for example, your chances of being allowed in are much lower.

In any country where you will be staying longer than 30 days, or need a visa to visit, you will usually be requested to provide a copy of your criminal record. Unfortunately, visa applications may be rejected, and countries may deny you entry if you do have a record.

Much of the time, you won’t be required to provide your criminal record, and it won’t hinder you from travelling, but you’ll always want to double-check before going. Information about travelling with a criminal record can often be found on a country’s embassy page, which is always a good place to start if you’re looking for information.

Future Penalties

If you already have a criminal record and you are charged or convicted for another offence, you will often receive a harsher punishment even if the crime is relatively minor, such as jaywalking. You’re also at risk for higher jail time, especially if the second offence is a repeat of your first.

How Does a Discharge Affect Your Criminal Record?

While criminal records cannot be tossed out or erased entirely, discharges can help lessen the gravity of your criminal record. Discharges may still appear on background checks, especially in the case of vulnerable sector checks, but they will lessen the effect your criminal record has on your life.

You may receive a discharge in place of a conviction, but it is still evidence of guilt. However, where a conviction will remain on your record for 80 years or longer, a discharge will remain for either one year or three years. After the allotted time, it will only appear on vulnerable sector checks in some situations.

A discharge may be granted in one of two ways according to Section 730(1) of the Criminal Code: absolute or conditional.

With an absolute discharge, the crime will remain on your record for one year, after which the RCMP will remove it. With a conditional discharge, you will be expected to abide by certain conditions set by the court, usually probation of one to two years. Given that you successfully abide by your probation conditions, a conditional discharge will be removed after three years.

Hiring a Lawyer Can Help

When you’re first arrested and charged with a crime, it is imperative to have a good criminal lawyer Toronto on your side, as any charge or conviction will damage your record. If you need help and are looking for someone to provide you with a strong defence, contact our team at Vilkhov Law.

By |2022-04-06T12:05:20+00:00April 6th, 2022|Criminal Defence|

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Criminal Lawyers Association
Toronnto Lawyers Association
Law Society of Ontario
Criminal Lawyers Association
Toronnto Lawyers Association
Law Society of Ontario
Excellent5.0 Based on 110 reviews fromNorbert WysockiNorbert Wysocki ★★★★★ Igor and his team provided excellent service in very delicate and emotional case. They were extremely supporting and knowledgeable. Thank you for everything you have done!Jason WorthJason Worth ★★★★★ Words cannot describe what Igor has done for me. Igor is the most skilled and amazing attorney I have ever met in my entire life. I had a long list of charges (some that carried some serious penitentiary time) and worked some serious magic with countless hours behind the scenes for me to make just 1 appearance and have ALL THE CHARGES WITHDRAWN and a peace bond put in place. The timeframe for it was amazing as well he took care of me and this situation in only 15 months! (we all know the justice system does not work that fast normally!) 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Even though the legal process was a lengthy one, they were there to answer the questions and concerns we had.Thankfully, it's all over and settled and hopefully we'll not need his services again, but it is reassuring to know that if the situation should every arise where legal counsel is needed, Vilkhov Law Professional will be there in my corner.Thank you.Scott K.Scott K. ★★★★★ I would like to give Igor 5 stars for handling my serious case for the last 11 months of my life. In December 2022, I was wrongfully accused of 2 serious charges under my name however, Igor took care of it from the beginning and finally all of those wrongful charges are withdrawn and now I feel much better and at ease. I am very glad that Igor could help me throughout the hard process and bring out the best result possible! 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I’ve personally worked with him and I can say with confidence he is a hard working, dedicated, result focused lawyer. Keep up the hard work!Daniel SlobodkinDaniel Slobodkin ★★★★★ I have known Mr. Vilkhov in a professional and personal capacity for several years. Mr. Vilkhov is a well-respected and devoted criminal lawyer who prioritizes the success and livelihood of his clients. Mr. Vilkhov goes out of his way and makes time, at all times of day, to tend to the needs of his clients. Mr. Vilkhov is a diligent lawyer I would recommend to anyone dealing with a criminal matter. Well-spoken, confident, methodical and professional are qualities that only begin to scratch the surface of Mr. Vilkhov's criminal law practice and his character at whole.mike cookmike cook ★★★★★ I can’t say enough good things about my experience with Mr. vilkhov he truly takes pride in his work and did his absolute best to work on my case and get me the best deal I would recommend him to everyone. Hiring Mr .vilkhow will be the best decision for anyone to make he’s truly amazing at what he does .Amina HuseynovaAmina Huseynova ★★★★★ I've known Igor professionally for a long time, one of the most dedicated criminal lawyers I have met. He gets amazing results for his clients and I would recommend anyone who is looking to hire him.maddy mmaddy m ★★★★★ I am international student in Canada, six months ago I was falsely accused of SA and I was charged. I had never dealt with all this in my life and I started looking for a lawyer. I spoke too more than 50 lawyers all over ontario and every lawyer I spoke to tried to scare me and told me that I am a dead meat here and this thing is definitely going to trial and were only interested in talking about their fees. Mr Vilkhov patiently heard my case and told me that there is a high possibility of getting the case withdrawn . He was straightforward and honest. He convinced me after one call that he is the right lawyer for me to retain. He charged a very reasonable fee which he let me pay in installments. He kept me well informed about my case in every stage. Mr. Vilkhov and Daniel from his team were my constant support. Every message and every phone call was answered.Mr Vilkhov got the charges withdrawn!!! My case was in a jurisdictions were cases like these never get withdrawn. But Mr. Vilkhov gave his best and got the charges withdrawn without any conditions. I cannot thank Vilkhov law professional for giving my life back! Mr. Vilkhov is very knowledgeable and he is the lawyer you need by your side when you need it the most! He wins when you need it the most! Thank you Vilkhov law corporation!Jay ModiJay Modi ★★★★★ Igor and his team exceeded my expectations, efficiently getting all charges dropped in my case. His timely responses, coupled with Daniel's eloquence, made for an exceptional first-time experience with a lawyer. 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I was facing a huge fine which would have devastated me financially for years to come, but with his passionate submission to crown on my behalf he was able to get the fine reduced by 90%. His colleagues he works with are amazing too. Thank you so much for all of your help through this matter Igor! You truely have saved my future. I appreciate it beyond measure! All the best in the future!Akash TyagiAkash Tyagi ★★★★★ Hi all, When i just came to Canada, i got charged with SA, which was a nightmare for me where my so called friends left my side. Then by luck i got to know Mr. Igor and that day changed everything.Being new in a country could cost me a lot but with Igor’s genuine efforts to help me, saved my life.A big thanks to him and god bless him.Must recommended lawyer.Thanks a ton Igor.❤️ted ferreirated ferreira ★★★★★ I met Igor approximately two years ago when we met with him regarding SA charges against our son. 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