Canadian Employment Agency

Clearing Arrest Records, Police Records, Withdrawn Charges and a Stay of Proceedings

Did you know, if you have been arrested or even investigated by the police, you have a record which may come back to haunt you when you least expect it.

Not many people realize that there are many types of record other than true criminal record which are held by police agencies and reported on criminal record checks, particularly the infamous Four-Section RCMP check.

Likewise, criminal charges that proceed to the courts for prosecution may not result in a conviction, but still create troublesome record. Criminal charges may be withdrawn, or the proceedings may be stayed after consideration of the circumstances. These records will remain in the federal criminal record repository of the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC), under restricted distribution, and in local police files forever, unless you have them removed.

Investigative and Arrest Records

When police begin to investigate possible criminal activity, they begin by creating a local police file on local and regional systems such as PIRS, PRIME, OMPACC, PIMS, PROBE, IRIS and numerous other police information management systems.

Once your name is entered onto such a system, it remains there, and will often turn up on a locally conducted criminal record screening.

When Will Your Police Record Show Up?

Police records are local/regional by nature, and therefore they are not put onto the federal criminal record repository CPIC (Canadian Police Information Centre). If you are having a criminal record check done for employment and the hiring company/organization is using a third party to conduct the clearance, you will usually be safe.

However, if you are having a criminal record check done for employment and the hiring company/organization is local to the area where your arrest/police record is held, there is a good chance it will turn up and prevent you from landing the job.

Likewise, a lot of employers/organizations now require you to obtain a police clearance or criminal record check on your own. Unfortunately, if you are dealing with the RCMP in your area, you will likely receive a four section RCMP check. The fourth section of this check reveals police information such as investigations, complaints and arrests. Often, the fourth section will simply have a cryptic answer such as "there may or may not be information on file" leading the potential employer to wonder just what you were up to.

I have personally seen this section filled out for matters as minor as someone praying a neighbor with a hose 15 years ago, yet they are now losing great employment opportunities because of it.

Clearing your Police or Arrest Record

There is a solution however, what you need is a "Record Purge". Legal service professionals at Express Pardons can prepare a petition on your behalf to force the closure of trivial investigate notes and arrest records at your local police through their purge process. Express Pardons maintains files on police policy and procedure for all the major police jurisdictions, and will research the policies of any police for which they are not yet familiar.

Records of Withdrawn Charges, Stay of Proceedings, or Acquittals

When the police believe they have a case against you and wish to proceed with charges, they forward the charges to the crown for prosecutions. However, not every charge results in a conviction and a true criminal record.

The Crown is empowered to control a prosecution's proceedings, including the ability to terminate it and the ability to select the manner of termination. There are a number of ways in which a prosecution may be terminated other than by proceeding to a verdict. The Crown has the discretion as to which avenue to choose, and may:

  • Withdraw a charge at any time prior to a plea by the accused, or with the leave of the court, after a plea has been entered;
  • Enter a Stay of Proceedings; or
  • Proceed with the trial but elect not to call any evidence or to stop calling further evidence, and ask the judge or jury to acquit.

The avenues that a Crown prosecutor selects in terminating a prosecution have different legal consequences. One of those consequences is the formation of a non-conviction record, in all cases. Even a verdict of acquittal creates a non-conviction record which can turn up in criminal record screenings.

Why Are Charges Withdrawn?

Charges may be withdrawn when the crown determines that:

  • reasonable and probable grounds did not exist to lay the charge;
  • there is no reasonable likelihood of conviction;
  • it is not in the public interest to continue the prosecution; or
  • the charge laid was incorrect and the Crown intends to proceed on a different (even a more serious) charge.

Why Are Charges Stayed?

Generally, a stay of proceedings is appropriate when the case is being discontinued and the public interest requires that the Crown retain the right to potentially recommence those proceedings within one year, although they rarely are.

When deciding whether to enter a stay of proceedings, theCrown considers the following factors:

  • the circumstances of the case and the reason for the inability of the Crown to proceed with the trial;
  • the merits of the particular case (including the sufficiency of evidence and the likelihood of conviction);
  • the relative importance of the case;
  • the likelihood of recommencement

Clearing Your Records of Withdrawn Charges, Stay of Proceedings, or Acquittals

What you need to clear these records is a "Record Purge," particularly of your federal identification file. Legal service professionals at Express Pardons can prepare a petition on your behalf to force the recall and destruction or your federal identification file and the originating local police record. The courts are then notified of the purge and subsequently seal their records in court archives.

If you need more information on the particulars of your own application, feel free to send me an email.

About the author: Jared Church isa voting member of the Paralegal Society of Canada, and a leading expert in the field of Canadian Pardons, U.S. Entry Waivers, criminal record systems, and similar legal matters in Canada. Feel free to Email Jared your questions at For more information on the author's Pardon Society of Canada andBetter Business Bureau accredited firm, visit


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