Saturday, June 16, 2012

Can a DUI Prevent me from Entering Canada?


The answer is yes.  While there are exceptions, the country of Canada has very strict rules on who may enter the country.  Although a DUI is typically not the kind of crime that results in deportation, entering the nation could be difficult, particularly for non-citizens.  A drunk driving conviction will show up on a person's record and the immigration authorities will have access to those records for purposes of traveling in and out of Canadian territory.  How does Canada get that information?  Under a recent bilateral security agreement between the United States and Canada border agents access criminal records from states such as California instantaneously.  Therefore the border crossing guards will see every conviction of any criminal offense such as drunk driving, wet reckless, and other dui related charges.  What's even worse is that if the case is pending the immigration authorities may deem the traveler to be a fleeing fugitive by border and crossing guards and agents.

The best suggestion for anyone thinking of traveling to Canada anytime soon is to seek an expungement of the DUI conviction which can be done with minimal effort.  California does allow for a person to get a criminal offense removed from their record as a conviction and a lawyer can help in accomplishing this goal.

Also, there are methods to obtain a pardon or admissibility waiver for trips to Canadian provinces.