How Criminal Records Affect People’s Lives

How Criminal Records Affect People’s Lives

by Sanju

Even when your charges are dropped or you are found not guilty, having a criminal record can seriously harm several spheres of your life. A criminal record can make it challenging to receive contracts if you are self-employed, advance in your current job position, or obtain a professional licence. 

Getting Employment or Becoming Licensed

Before hiring people or admitting applicants to training programs, almost all companies and licensing bodies now require police record checks. You can authorise a police record check by signing an application form or an employment contract. However, you want to seek counsel from top criminal lawyers in Toronto before signing on the dotted line. 

The legislation mandates police clearance reports for various professions, including banking, government, insurance, and real estate workers. If a person has a criminal record, almost all forms of the job are out of their reach.

Career Development

Many businesses with police records checks for new hires also make it mandatory for current employees to go through the process. For example, when applying for a job promotion or because of new policies or laws. 

Even someone who has worked for the same company for a long time is not shielded from subsequent requests for criminal background checks. In many instances, including in places like government agencies and school boards, employers must check current and potential hires’ police records. 

Additionally, many businesses that in the past did not demand criminal background checks are now doing so. If a criminal past is uncovered, those people cannot advance in their careers with the employer and may potentially lose their jobs. A person who may have initially passed a criminal background check when hired could later be charged with a felony like driving while intoxicated (DWI), which is detected through a routine security check.

Additionally, suppose a worker in a particular profession requiring a licence has a criminal record that was not previously known and is now required to renew the licence. In that case, the criminal record will probably be found. Unable to lawfully do the job without a licence will likely result in the person being dismissed. It is best to have your criminal record cleared up before applying for a job or a promotion.


Self-employed individuals are not exempted from criminal history checks. Nowadays, many firms and government agencies that outsource labour to people or corporations demand that the independent contractor or the company’s owners submit criminal background checks. 

This is particularly valid when the independent contractor will have access to sensitive data or will deal with weaker individuals, like children. Nannying, bookkeeping, and computer programming are just three professions that frequently demand criminal background checks.

Before giving a subcontractor a job, many businesses demand that they have the proper insurance. Therefore, self-employed people must consider their company’s insurance needs. Insurance companies frequently demand that the business’s owner and staff have clean criminal records checks, depending on the type of insurance sought.

Can an Employer Find Expunged or Sealed Records?

An employer cannot find an expunged record. The criminal record is sealed following the granting of a pardon. Following the granting of a pardon, a local police records check will reveal no criminal records, according to the results. Similarly, a fingerprint-based RCMP search would conclude that no criminal history exists. 

The sole exception is when checks are performed to work with vulnerable individuals, for example, children, the elderly, and people with disabilities. In some situations, the police will make it known if the subject is a pardoned sex offender.

Can Someone With a Criminal Record Adopt a Child or Be a Foster Parent?

A local police records check and a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) report must be submitted as part of the adoption application before adopting a child, whether in Canada or abroad. Before the kid is released into the applicants’ custody, the adoption procedure is a drawn-out, pricey, and intricate legal process that calls for the proof and verification of numerous elements. The finding of a criminal past will cause the application to be delayed and, ultimately, denied due to the strict requirements entailed in the adoption procedure.

Can A Criminal Record Prevent Someone From Renting A Home?

A person may be unable to rent a home if they have a criminal past. Before the landlord and tenant sign a lease, prospective tenants almost always need to complete a rental application. The majority of rental applications ask if the applicant has a criminal history. The landlord may occasionally have the right to request more information regarding the applicant’s criminal history based on the application.

The landlord could request the tenant’s police record check. In other instances, the landlord may give the applicant’s name, and date of birth to the local police for a records check after receiving the applicant’s consent on the rental agreement. Therefore, it is in the tenant’s best interest to have the criminal record cleared before signing such agreements. At the very least, it is wise that tenants thoroughly read these agreements to know whether they have permitted the landlord to run a police records check.

Be ready for such a search if you need to rent before your record is expunged. Tenants can be ready by:

  • verify that their security deposit is returnable if the landlord decides not to rent to them,
  • write a letter expressing regret detailing the event that led to the criminal record.
  • Obtaining a letter from their record removal business, for example, can demonstrate that they have started the process of having the record removed.

If you have been charged with a criminal offence, contact a competent criminal defence lawyer to help file a petition to erase your criminal record.

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