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 You Go to Canada with PA DUI ARD?

Individuals arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) or other misdemeanor crimes in the State of Pennsylvania may be given the opportunity to participate in a special pre-trial intervention program called Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition or ARD. In order to be accepted into the ARD program a person must have no previous criminal record, and participants are typically required to complete community service and may also need to attend a substance abuse course (DUI offenses), anger management, or pay restitution (theft or shoplifting offenses). Similar to probation, Pennsylvania ARD programs place participants under the supervision of the district attorney's office to ensure good behavior.

Although applying for PA ARD does not involve pleading guilty or admitting to any wrongdoing, individuals enrolled in the program may be inadmissible to Canada and denied admittance. There is no assumption of innocence when it comes to crossing the Canadian border (agents can essentially assume a conviction as soon as a person is charged), and a DUI is now a serious crime north of the border punishable by up to ten years in jail so Canadian authorities can treat them like a felony. Consequently, Americans can be considered criminally inadmissible to the country immediately after being arrested by police until such a time that they can prove a favorable outcome to immigration officials. This means that anyone with a DUI ARD in Pennsylvania, or another type of offense that resulted in PA ARD, can require a Temporary Resident Permit to enter the country until they have successfully completed the curriculum and expunged the charge and have documentation proving this fact. Whether or not the status of the ARD case is "adjudicated" or "finding of guilt withheld", anyone enlisted in an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition should speak to a lawyer before attempting to cross the Canadian border.

Even after a person finishes the Pennsylvania A.R.D. program for a DUI they risk a Canadian entry denial unless they can prove their admissibility to border agents. For this reason, many ARD graduates obtain a Legal Opinion Letter from a Canada immigration lawyer to help ensure they do not run into problems when crossing the border. Expunging the criminal charge does not hide it from Canadian immigration officials at the border, so the onus is always on the visitor to prove he or she successfully completed the Accelerated Rehabilitation Disposition (ARD) intervention program. Once ARD is finished and the participant obtains an expungement, the offense can typically be equated to a non-conviction in Canada according to their immigration rules. Even if an American is admissible to Canada, however, if border agents see an arrest record and are not fully satisfied with the information and evidence presented to support the visitor's admissibility the traveler can still be denied entry.

To learn more about going to Canada with ARD, fill out our contact form for a free consultation!

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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!