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Legal Ease
Legal Ease, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
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Experience:  Lawyer
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I was convicted in 1994 under 1000$. I received suspended

Customer Question

Hello, I was convicted in 1994 for shoplifting under 1000$. I received suspended sentence and probation of 1 year. In 1999 when applying for a foreign visa, I went to my local police to get a background check and it was clear. Does this mean it is no longer a conviction?
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 9 months ago.

Are you certain you received a suspended sentence and not a conditional discharge?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
It is in French since this was in Montreal, and says: sent susp et probation pour 1 an which I assumed means suspended sentence and 1 year probation
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
IN 1999 I got a certificate testifying: this is to certify that a search based on the above name and birth date failed to disclose any such person with a record of criminal convictions in th national repository for criminal record in Canada. This is why I am confused
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I applied for a job and they asked for any unpardoned convictions and I said no, based on the letter, but then I never got a pardon, so I am afraid if I misrepresented myself...
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 9 months ago.

If this was a suspended sentence then you did have a conviction and you did misrepresent yourself.

If instead this was a conditional discharge then your record would not show the discharge.

For this reason it sounds to me like you may have received a discharge and notva suspended sentence.

If you receive a suspended sentence the only way you can have your record cleared is to apply for record suspension which is what a pardon used to be called.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
However, does it make sense if I received a suspended sentence that I would get the certificate stating there is no convictions?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Should I disclose to my manager before I get fingerprinted?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Could the police have made a mistake? Is it possible that they didn't see something but fingerprinting would reveal otherwise?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hello?
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 9 months ago.

It may be that this was just so long ago that it is not in the system.

But it may be that you did get a discharge and I suppose if the employer ever asks you can say that as far as you understand it there was no actual conviction.

Fingerprinting would not reveal anything else.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
just to reconfirm, if I did have a suspended sentence in 1994, which is a conviction, the police certificate for visa in 1999 would have revealed this, rather than stating: "this is to certify that a search based on the above name and birth date failed to disclose any such person with a record of criminal convictions in the national repository for criminal record in Canada."
A part of the background check asked if I had a conviction, then asked several questions to identify me. Only when there is uncertainty they ask about fingerprinting. They have asked for it, so it made me worry that something was found even though the certificate from the police made me believe there were no convictions.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Are there 2 types of background checks? One regular and another more thorough where they could find something (vulnerable persons?). It is a relief that you said fingerprinting would not reveal more, but I am wondering why they are asking for fingerprints.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Hello?
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 9 months ago.

I am sorry for the delay but I am a lawyer and not a computer generating a response and I cannot be online full time.

The police certificate could reflect the fact that the information system was not as good back then and the conviction was so old it is not showing.

The fingerprints confirm who you are and will not access further records than what has been access as none exist.