Absolute Discharge: The difference between conditional & absolute discharge

apprentice police

Every country has its way of handling criminal cases, and Canada isn’t any different. The only thing that remains blatant is that you will be considered guilty or not guilty based on the evidence laid against you.

Once the police arrest you, you will be taken to court, and the prosecutor will look for any means to prove you were guilty, beyond any reasonable doubt. In some instances, the tune can change. Your case can be discharged between a guilty or not guilty verdict. So, how does this come about? Find out what an absolute discharge means.

What is absolute discharge?

In a situation where the court case is reviewing a discharge of the offender, he/she may be sentenced but not convicted owing to complicated issues. The accused may have been arrested, but the offense isn’t considered harmful to the general public.  Here is a scenario;

If the accused was found trespassing into a government institution, but after an examination of the facts, it turns out that he/she was not in the right state of mind when committing this offense. Supposing this person was struggling to take care of his/her siblings. This would result in a permanent criminal record that will cause the said person’s employment status.

In such a case, the court will be compelled to discharge the case since it doesn’t harm the public interest in tainting the person’s image. Moreover, those who are under his support will suffer as a result of the court’s decision. As long as the individual didn’t place his life or the lives of others in danger, then there is no need to tainting his image. This is where a discharge comes about.

What is the difference between a conditional and an absolute discharge?

The only similarity between these two cases is that they will be erased from the interface completely. However,

  • A conditional discharge may stay on an individual’s criminal record or three years
  • An absolute discharge may also remain on the individual’s record for only one year.

In both scenarios, the record will be entered as soon as the sentence was ordered. To qualify, you will need to fulfill certain requirements. For instance, if you were caught trespassing, you should prove to the court that you do not intend to repeat the offense for as long as you are still alive.

In any case, you faced a discharge before July 1992, it will still show on CPIC. So anyone who wants to access your criminal record will come across it. After that, it may or may not feature under the US Customs and Border Protection list.

Parting Shot

Since the discharge is a matter of national interest, your case remains in their possession. So, you need to verify if they were destroyed. You can achieve this by having your fingerprints taken. This will prevent any records from popping up anytime you show up in any related governing bodies. Knowing the state of your criminal record will work in your best interest.