Absolute discharge

Filed Under: Criminal Law

3 definitions found for this term.
Definitions are presented in the order source books were published (most recent first).


A court decision made when, in the best interests of the accused and not contrary to the public interest, a person who has been found guilty of, or pleads guilty to, an offence under the Criminal Code, is relieved from sentencing by that court, without conditions. The offender has no record of a criminal conviction or “no criminal record” for employment purposes. The offender does have a record of a finding of guilt.


A situation in which an offender is deemed not to have been convicted of the offence. However, since the offender pleaded or was found guilty, the offender will still have a federal criminal record. A judge can only order an absolute discharge if this is in the offender’s best interests and is not contrary to the public interest. An absolute discharge cannot be given if the offence carries a minimum punishment or is punishable by imprisonment for fourteen years or life.

Scroll to Top