*2024 Results: Approx. 99% of Mark Zinck's clients avoided a criminal record (conviction) for charges of theft, fraud, assault, mischief and threats.

Criminal Records in Canada

Consequences of a Criminal Conviction

For many accused of crimes, their primary concern is the prospect of acquiring a criminal record. Even if you are convicted of a crime, an absolute or conditional discharge allows you to avoid a criminal record despite the conviction.

Further, some accused persons may be eligible to enter a diversion program that allows them to avoid prosecution (and thus avoid a criminal record). In some instances of assault and threats charges, the crown attorney may agree not to prosecute if the accused is willing to agree to a peace bond.

If a discharge, diversion, or a peace bond is not an option, a conviction will result in a criminal record for the accused.

The two primary problems that criminal records cause for offenders is that they can effect employment prospects and travel (please see our article on US travel with a criminal record).

How Criminal Records effect employment

Employers will commonly ask if you have a criminal record as part of their background checks. Those with criminal histories are frequently rejected for jobs. Sometimes, the employer will require a police background check to verify an employee's claim of not having a record.

Some offenders may simply lie about their criminal record if they do not believe they will be subjected to a background check in the future. Obviously, this could be grounds for termination if the employer ever discovers. Most offenders are already aware of this risk and may simply choose to lie anyway (being fired from a menial call center or sales job for failing to disclose a criminal record is not exactly much of a loss).

If an offender has been pardoned of all their convictions, they can truthfully answer "no" to the question of whether they have a criminal record. This doesn't mean their criminal history won't become an issue for the job seeker. If asked whether they have ever been convicted of a crime, the truthful answer is still "yes", even if they have received a pardon.

If I’m later pardoned is my record wiped clean?

Not 100%. A pardon will eventually cause your conviction record to be erased from the federal CPIC database, but not the provincial police database. Further, there is no guarantee the US customs service didn't download and retain permanently your record from the CPIC database while it was there.

Even being charged with a crime will result in your placement in a provincial database potentially for life. This database is accessible to police agencies and can negatively impact your life forever (as noted, it may also be accessible to the US customs and border protection agency in addition to Canadian police forces).

How does a record in the provincial database negatively impact me?

If you are pulled over or arrested, the police will see you were previously charged in the provincial police database. As many charges are discretionary (up to the officer), knowing that you had contact with the police previously will undoubtedly impact their decision to charge you.

This record of you being charged will remain in the provincial system even if the charges are withdrawn or you are found not guilty. Further, if you were convicted and later pardoned, the record will still remain in the provincial system. Just being accused/charged is enough for you to be entered into the provincial system.

For example: You get in an argument with your girlfriend and she calls the police saying you threatened her. The police show up and charge you criminally for making a threat. Eventually, the charges are dropped because she later recants her story.

Two years later, you get in an argument with your new girlfriend who also calls the police. The police arrive at the scene and are trying to decide who to charge. The police will then run your name in the provincial database system and see you were charged with a domestic dispute two years prior.

While you were never convicted, the police will see you were charged and may be less inclined to believe your story.

As noted above, the US customs agency may also have access to the provincial database (in addition to the CPIC database), which could lead to problems for you crossing the border.


There is both a federal CPIC and a provincial crime database that law enforcement agencies have access to and will influence their decisions if you come in contact with them. Your record will remain in the provincial system even if you are acquitted, granted a discharge, have the charges withdrawn, or are found guilty and later pardoned.

   Call us today.

You don't have to jeopardize your future or waste thousands of dollars on excessive legal fees. We provide effective and affordable lawyer representation for those charged with criminal offences throughout Ontario, Canada.

Have a skilled criminal lawyer who focuses on criminal law protect you and your future from the stigma and consequences of a criminal record and conviction.

    call now: 647-228-5969


Your case will be defended by a fully licensed Practicing Lawyer of the Law Society of Ontario. For more information about our lawyer, click here.

We provide our clients with:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • 99%+ non-conviction success rate
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration/IRCC issues
  • Employment background check advice/services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • Clear goals of getting charges dropped and bail conditions varied without a trial
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Experienced, focused counsel

* Please note:

If you are not a paying client, we cannot answer questions and provide assistance about avoiding jail and/or a criminal record, employment background checks, IRCC/immigration applications and status, or travel to the U.S. in the future. This includes those who have already retained other counsel and those whose cases have already been completed.

We only can respond to calls and emails relating to current Ontario criminal cases. Please see our FAQ for a listing of the courthouses we service.

Are you a lawyer? If you are defending a criminal case and are looking for expert advice regarding possible defences, case strategies, and information release management call us at: 647-228-5969.

Please note: We do not accept legal aid certificate cases. All clients are handled on a private retainer only.

*2024 Results: the percentage of 99% of clients avoiding a criminal record (conviction) stated on this page is based solely on Lawyer Mark Zinck's personal representation of approximately 2000 criminal defence case clients as of the year 2024. Past results are not necessarily an indication of future results.


Your questions and concerns are extremely important to me.


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   Criminal Information:

   We provide:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • 99%+ non-conviction success rate
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration/IRCC issues
  • Employment background check advice and services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • A clear goal of getting the charges dropped without a trial
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Timely resolutions
  • Lawyer/client privilege
  • Experienced, focused counsel