There are a few technical facts that one ought to know about conditional and absolute discharges:
As stated, discharges are removed from certain police databases after a certain period of time.
If granted a discharge, a person may honestly answer that “They have never been convicted of a criminal offence”. However, if asked “Have you ever been found guilty of a criminal offence?” the answer would be “Yes”.
(1) No record of a discharge under section 730 of the Criminal Code that is in the custody of the Commissioner or of any department or agency of the Government of Canada shall be disclosed to any person, nor shall the existence of the record or the fact of the discharge be disclosed to any person, without the prior approval of the Minister, if
(a) more than one year has elapsed since the offender was discharged absolutely; or
(b) more than three years have elapsed since the offender was discharged on the conditions prescribed in a probation order.
(2) The Commissioner shall remove all references to a discharge under section 730 of the Criminal Code from the automated criminal conviction records retrieval system maintained by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on the expiration of the relevant period referred to in subsection (1).1992, c. 22, s. 6; 1995, c. 22, s. 17(E).
Disclosure to police forces
6.2 Notwithstanding sections 6 and 6.1, the name, date of birth and last known address of a person who has received a pardon or a discharge referred to in section 6.1 may be disclosed to a police force if a fingerprint, identified as that of the person, is found
(a) at the scene of a crime during an investigation of the crime; or
(b) during an attempt to identify a deceased person or a person suffering from amnesia.
1992, c. 22, s. 6.