How can a criminal record affect your life?

Essay by khan_sana November 2004

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What is a criminal record?

A criminal record is a document that lists a person's criminal and penal convictions pronounced by the courts of Canada in accordance with federal laws such as the Criminal Code of Canada. However, violating a traffic rule of the Quebec Highway Safety Code is not a criminal offence and would not result in a criminal record. In fact, offences to provincial penal laws do not result in criminal records.

How can a criminal record affect my everyday living?

There are several disadvantages to having a criminal record:

A criminal record may harm your chances of getting a job in certain fields (e.g.: jobs related to security, finance, etc.);

A criminal record may cause serious hassles while traveling. In fact, to obtain a visa to enter some countries, you must prove that you do not have a criminal record. For example, the United States will deny entry to tourists or immigrants who have criminal records for some criminal offences: polygamy, prostitution, drug trafficking, spying, etc.;

If you have a criminal record, and you are convicted of another crime, you will most likely be punished more severely than a person who does not have any previous convictions;

A criminal record may prevent you from joining a professional order, from obtaining licenses or permits, or from getting certain insurance policies

Can I get a pardon?

The law stipulates that after a specified period of time, any person convicted of one or more offences to a federal law can apply for a pardon.