Programs that provide assistance for people who want to submit a petition requesting the official and formal sealing or erasure of records related to a particular criminal case where there was a not-guilty outcome (including acquittal, or charges that were withdrawn, dismissed or stayed) or a conditional or absolute discharge. Where there has been no conviction, such records are under the legal jurisdiction of the local police force that laid the charges, and the response will depend on the current policies of the local police service. Most jurisdictions have laws that permit, even mandate, the expungement of juvenile records as well as statutes that relate to adult records and the conditions under which they may be cleared.
Programs that provide assistance for people who want to submit a petition to the Parole Board of Canada requesting a record suspension (formerly called a pardon) under the Criminal Records Act. Record suspensions allow people who were convicted of a criminal offence, but who have completed their sentence and demonstrated they are law-abiding citizens for a prescribed number of years, to have their criminal record kept separate and apart from other criminal records (in effect removed from public access). Record suspensions do not erase a conviction, and do not allow people to say that they do not have a criminal record.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.