As a Newmarket Criminal Lawyer, I would urge anyone who is charged with a criminal offence to consult a lawyer in their local area. The following is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.
Under the Criminal Code of Canada, there is a wide array of dispositions that are available after an individual is charged with a criminal offence.
A Peace bond is one of the few dispositions that does not result in a finding of guilt. The charges are withdrawn if the accused agrees to abide by certain conditions for a period of time (usually twelve months). However, a peace bond can result in non-conviction information being retained in a police database that could appear in certain background checks. For example, a record of a peace bond may re-occur in a vulnerable sector check even though the charges were formally withdrawn in court and no criminal record was registered. To determine if a peace bond is the best available option in your particular circumstances you should consult a criminal lawyer in your local area.
An absolute discharge is a form of disposition that does not result in a criminal record but does result in a finding of guilt. Despite the fact that it does not result in a criminal record an absolute discharge will remain on file with the RCMP in a system commonly referred to as CPIC. The conviction related information will be automatically removed after one year from the date when the finding of guilt was made.
A conditional discharge is another form of disposition similar to an absolute discharge but the difference is that a term of probation will attach to a conditional discharge. The term of probation can be anywhere between six months to three years. Although a conditional discharge is a finding of guilt, it does not result in a criminal record either. Any conviction related information that is maintained by the RCMP will be removed three years after probation has expired.
A suspended sentence results in a criminal record with no jail time, and a term of probation will attach. The criminal record exists forever, unless a pardon is obtained after an individual becomes eligible to apply for one.
A conditional sentence is a more serious disposition than a suspended sentence, as it results in a term of house arrest. Certain exceptions may be included in the sentence to accommodate for the particular needs of the accused. A conditional sentence also results in a criminal record, and exists forever unless a pardon is obtained after one becomes eligible to apply for one.
As a Newmarket Criminal lawyer I would urge anyone who is facing a criminal charge to consult a lawyer in your local area to help explain the consequences of being charged with a criminal offence and your options in defending the allegations made against you.