Convictions for non-specified offenses will be available for filtering after 5.5 years for individuals under the age of 18 and 11 years for those beyond the age of 18. Multiple cautions can be filtered in the same way as convictions can, as long as the offences in issue are qualified for filtering and the necessary amount of time has expired for each one.
Offenses that result in a custodial sentence can also be included in DBS checks, with different lengths of incarceration depending on the type of offense committed. These include:
Conditional releases: The Ministry of Justice estimates that conditional releases remain valid for between 3 months and 10 years after they are issued. Users will be able to apply credit towards their sentences if they meet certain conditions (for example, if they conduct themselves well while incarcerated).
Parole: Prisoners may be released under supervision before the end of their sentence. The Ministry of Justice estimates that parole boards will continue to release prisoners eligible for parole for up to another 3 months after which time they will be required to reapply.
Reconsideration: Those who have been released but then returned to prison because they breached the terms of their release could be considered for reconsideration. Reconsideration panels will be convened by the Parole Board to review applications from those who were originally deemed not suitable for release but who the board later decided should be granted parole after all. The length of time that someone can be reconsidered for parole is currently unknown.
If the applicant was over the age of 18 at the time of the offence, a conviction will be filtered 11 years after the date of the conviction, and a caution will be filtered 6 years after the date of the caution, provided that the applicant did not go to prison, did not commit any other offense, and the offence was not violent or sexual in nature. If these conditions are met, the conviction will be removed from the public record.
In some cases, depending on the crime committed, convictions may remain on the database for longer periods of time. For example, if the applicant was under the age of 18 at the time of the offense, or if they committed an indictable offense (i.e., a felony), then the conviction will always be retained by the Canadian government. Convictions for summary offenses (i.e., minor crimes), may also be retained forever.
If you would like further information on how long a criminal record stays on DBS, please contact us at [email protected]
It is important to note that most cautions, discharges, and convictions for drug possession are eventually subjected to a DBS check filter. This implies that if you are above the age of 18, any cautions for drug possession will not appear on a DBS check after six years. It takes 11 years for drug possession convictions to be sifted. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, a cautions for drug possession may still appear on your record if they relate to another offence that carries a custodial sentence.
After seven years, a caution or conviction for drug possession will appear on your record if it relates to another crime with which you have been charged. For example, if you are also being investigated for drug trafficking, even if you have been found not guilty of possession, these cases will still appear on your record.
After fifteen years, a caution or conviction for drug possession will disappear from your record if there has been no further police activity relating to it. If however, there has been more serious criminal activity on your record since your last arrest, even if it has nothing to do with drugs, these items will remain.