Criminal FAQs

  1. What happens if I miss a Court or police station appearance? If you do not appear in court or report to the police station when you are supposed to, you may be charged with the Criminal Code offence of “failure to appear” and a warrant may be issued for your arrest. This is why it is extremely important to keep track of your Court dates and let your legal representative know of all the dates you are expected to be in Court.
  2. How do I request Disclosure (the document containing the evidence that the police and Crown will use for prosecution)? Disclosure for your matter can be requested by filling out a form at the Case Management Office at the Calgary Court Centre (601 – 5 Street SW, Calgary) or at the Crown Prosecutor’s Office (Suite 600, 332 – 6th Avenue S.W. Calgary).
  3. Can I work to pay off my fine? If you are sentenced to pay a fine, you may participate in the fine option program if not paying your fine will result in default jail time. This option allows you to satisfy the financial terms of your fines through community work service.  You can perform this service instead of, or as a supplement to, cash payment of your fine. The number of hours that you will need to serve will be calculated based on the standard minimum wage. You will earn credits based on hours served and when you have earned enough credits a voucher will be issued to the clear of the court indicating that you have served the required number of hours and that your fine has been paid off.
  4. I want to apply to the Mental Health Diversion Program, how do I qualify? The Mental Health Diversion Program redirects persons suffering from a mental health disorder or a mental health disorder with a concurrent substance abuse disorder who have been arrested for minor non violent crimes, from the Justice System to community based mental health programs or community support services.The Diversion program is available to adults, 18 years of age or older, and youth, 12 to 18 years of age, suffering from an Axis 1 mental illness who are charged with a less serious criminal offence. A referral is needed and can be initiated by contacting Calgary Diversion Service. All diversions must be approved by the Crown Prosecutor’s office before your sentencing or plea either in court or contact service.
  5. Can I apply for a pardon? To apply for a pardon you must have:
    • completed your sentence (including parole) and have paid any fine or financial penalty
    • completed any probation period
    • have served a required waiting period
    • demonstrated that he or she is a law-abiding citizen
    • other criteria may apply

    After completing all of your sentences, you must have completed a waiting period:

    • 3 years for a summary conviction under the Criminal Code (other than an offence listed in Schedule 1 of the CRA) or other federal act or regulation;
    • 5 years for an indictable Conviction (other than an offence listed in Schedule 1 of the CRA);
    • 5 years for a summary conviction for an offence listed in Schedule 1 of the CRA (sexual offence involving a child). You will need to provide official documentation regarding the conviction and the age of the victim;
    • 10 years for a personal injury offence conviction (s.752 CC), for which a sentence of 2 years or more was imposed;
    • 10 years for an indictable conviction of an offence referred to in Schedule 1 of the CRA (sexual offence involving a child). You will need to provide official documentation regarding the conviction and the age of the victim;
    • 5 or 10 years for all convictions by a Canadian offender transferred to Canada under the Transfer of Offenders Act or International Transfer of Offenders Act (10 years for sexual offences);
    • 5 years under the National Defence Act, if you were fined more than $2,000, detained or imprisoned more than 6 months, or dismissed from service; and 3 years under the National Defence Act, for all other service offences.