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 Enter Canada with Aggravated DUI?

In both Canada and the US, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle if you have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. Anyone in the United States found to be driving a car with a BAC greater than this amount may be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) / driving while intoxicated (DWI). Most states in the US consider a DUI to be a serious criminal offense, and an aggravated DWI is an even more serious offense with even more severe penalties.

If the police catch an individual driving while impaired, his or her misdemeanor DUI charge could be upgraded to a felony aggravated DUI or extreme DUI for a number of reasons. Felony DUI charges are often the result of an impaired driver having no proof of insurance, a suspended or revoked driver's license, a child in the vehicle with them, prior DUI convictions, an extra high BAC, or being involved in an accident that caused property damage or bodily injury. Impaired driving is considered serious criminality in Canada, and such an offense north of the border can result in as much as ten years in jail. Consequently, any American with a standard or aggravated DUI on their criminal record, even if it happened a long time ago, may be criminally inadmissible to Canada and denied entry unless they have obtained special permission to visit.

Permission to cross the border with an extreme DUI is granted by the Canadian Government as either Criminal Rehabilitation or a Temporary Resident Permit. Criminal Rehabilitation can allow a person to overcome their inadmissibility permanently but can take as long as one year to obtain and to be eligible a person must have finished their full sentence (including probation) at least five years prior. A Canada Temporary Resident Permit or TRP can be obtained quickly, but is only a short-term solution. A TRP can be issued for a specific trip or for multiple visits up to three years, but an applicant must have a valid reason for travel (such as work or visiting family) in order to get approved.

Have an aggravated DUI and interested in visiting Canada? Phone our legal team for a free consultation.

Entry to Canada with DUI (Aggravated)

For the purposes of Canadian immigration, an aggravated DWI or DUI is typically treated in a similar fashion to a normal misdemeanor DUI since the equivalent offense in Canada is always a potentially serious crime. Both standard and extreme offenses can render a person ineligible for entry, and regardless of whether the conviction was a misdemeanor or a felony, any past impaired driving offense can cause issues at the Canadian border even if it happened more than ten years ago. Aggravated drunk driving offenses could make it more difficult to get approved for a TRP or Rehabilitation, however, and any applicant with a felony DUI or multiple DUIs in their past will typically have a big challenge getting into Canada. Since intoxicated driving is a serious crime in Canada, even non-aggravated DWIs no longer qualify for automatic Deemed Rehabilitation after ten years.

The considerable difference between an aggravated DUI and a standard one comes into play when applying for a Canadian Temporary Resident Permit or Criminal Rehabilitation. In order to be issued a Canada TRP, immigration officials must be convinced that you have reformed. Writing a persuasive narrative in your application about why Canadian officials should permit you to enter their society will be more difficult with an aggravated DUI since it is a bigger offense to overcome. For this reason, it is strongly advised that aggravated DUI offenders retain the services of a legal professional if they are planning a trip north of the border. In situations where substantial property damage occurred, or someone was hurt, the offender could very likely be refused entrance at the Canadian border even 20+ years later unless they have done the proper paperwork. In addition to aggravated DUIs and DWIs, other alcohol-related driving infractions that can potentially render an individual criminally inadmissible to Canada include wet reckless driving, DWAI, OUI, and OWI.

What Triggers an Aggravated DUI?

In many states, if a person has a blood alcohol concentration or BAC above 0.15% they can be charged with an enhanced or aggravated DWI. Having a passenger less than 15 years of age in the vehicle will also often result in an aggravated charge. If an individual has one or more prior drunk driving offenses in the same state, they could end up with a felony DWI especially if the previous conviction was within the last ten years. If the driver does not have adequate insurance, has a suspended license, or was supposed to have an interlock device in his or her vehicle, they can easily end up with an aggravated DUI.

How Can We Help?

If you have a DUI arrest or conviction on your record and need to enter Canada, call us now or fill out this form! 24 Hour Response Time!