Canada with DUI

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DUI Canada entry

Canadian immigration lawyer focused on Canada DUI entry from USA. We offer free comprehensive consultations (unlike most companies who demand a retainer before assessing your options).

Can I Get into Canada with a DUI Expungement?

Most alcohol-related driving offenses fall under the vehicle code for a given state (example: California Vehicle Code, Michigan Vehicle Code, Florida Vehicle Code, etc.) When determining admissibility, Canada immigration officials must identify the equivalent offense in the Canadian Criminal Code. This is done by examining the exact wording of the offense, which can vary from state to state, and then determining the corresponding Canadian infraction. When you expunge a DUI or wet reckless conviction, the verdict essentially changes to "not a conviction, deemed to have never occurred." Since the exact language can differ from state to state, for the purposes of Canadian immigration some expunged DUIs equate to a non-conviction in Canada while other expunged convictions can still render an American inadmissible to Canada.

If a person successfully petitioned the state to expunge their impaired driving conviction, and it now equates to "no conviction" in Canada, any prior impediments that existed pursuant to the IRPA may be removed. In this situation, the Canadian border may treat the expungement like it is not a conviction allowing the individual to potentially enter Canada without any problems. On the other hand, if the expungement still equates to a conviction in Canada, which can be the case with expungements from some US states, the person may still require a Temporary Resident Permit or Criminal Rehabilitation in order to avoid being denied entry at the Canadian border.

Wondering if your expunged conviction renders you inadmissible to Canada? Phone us today for a free consultation.

The onus is always on the traveler to prove his or her admissibility to Canada. Consequently, if you have an expunged DUI or wet reckless conviction, you may need to prove that the precise language of the final outcome is not considered a conviction under Canadian law. Even if the expungement equates to "no conviction" in Canada, it is important for Americans entering Canada with an expunged DUI to have proof that it was successfully abolished as border agents might require proof of the final result. Since criminal database sharing between the two countries is not always perfectly up to date, and mistakes do happen, it may be possible for an immigration officer to see a person's DWI and not their more recent expungement (especially if the conviction was expunged very recently). The exact language of the expungement will also not be visible to border officers through criminal database sharing. For this reason, many people going to Canada with an impaired driving expungement get a Canadian immigration attorney to write up a professional legal opinion letter to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) explaining the situation in detail. The letter describes in legal terms the original conviction, the subsequent expungement (including the specific language used in that state), and why there is consequently no longer a basis to deny the individual entry to Canada.

It is a privilege to be allowed to enter a foreign country and the responsibility always falls on you to be able to justify your admission at the border. A legal opinion letter from a lawyer combined with the proper supporting documents can help Americans with expunged convictions gain entry to Canada. Remember, in some states, an expunged DUI can still render you criminally inadmissible to Canada and can lead to a border denial. With so much at stake, many people prefer to have a professional explain their admissibility, so they do not lose sleep at night worrying that they will not be able to justify their admittance to immigration officials when under pressure. Think a letter of admissibility might help you enter Canada with an expunged DUI? Phone us today for a free assessment of your situation.

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