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 Truck Drivers Enter Canada with DUI?

Any American with a criminal record, including a single misdemeanor DUI, may be criminally inadmissible to Canada without special permission from their government. This permission is available as either a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) or Criminal Rehabilitation. A Canada TRP can permit an individual to cross the border for a fixed amount of time and can be available for multiple entries for as long as three years. Criminal Rehabilitation takes much longer to obtain but is a permanent solution that never needs to be renewed and can enable a person to have access to Canada for the rest of their life. Many people will apply for both at the same time with the goal of gaining access to Canada asap via a TRP while also fixing the situation forever via Rehabilitation.

Since American long haul truck drivers will often have the opportunity to haul freight to and from Canada, many commercial drivers with a criminal history want to ensure they are able to cross the border. It can be extremely important for a trucker with a DUI to overcome their inadmissibility as getting denied entry while hauling a load of goods would obviously be a disaster. If a person is simply taking a short vacation to Canada, they will sometimes try their luck and show up at the border hoping their offense will not cause them to get flagged. Being denied entry to Canada when attempting to make a delivery or pick-up north of the border is never a good situation, however, and could even result in a driver getting fired if the product is delivered late as a result. Consequently, many in the trucking business either avoid the country or file paperwork with the Government of Canada to ensure there will be no surprises at the border. We have even received panicked phone calls from independent truck drivers who have lost major contracts with logistics companies because they are no longer able to offer cross-border trucking services.

Impaired driving laws can be particularly harsh for professional drivers, and in many states anyone holding a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) is often excluded from partaking in conditional discharge or DUI diversion programs typically offered to first-time offenders. Other types of criminal records, such as those for domestic violence, theft, assault, or drug possession, can also make driving a truck into Canada very difficult. Even if the situation was a domestic disturbance or loud argument, as opposed to intimate partner violence, if a person has a misdemeanor related to domestic violence on their background check they should expect potential issues trying to drive a commercial vehicle or "18-Wheeler" into Canada.

Have a criminal history and want to be able to drive a commercial truck in and out of Canada? Contact our law office today for a free consultation!

Getting Permission to Travel to Canada with a DWI

A DUI is a serious crime north of the border, and as a result, any impaired driving offense can put an American at risk of being refused admittance by Canadian border agents. Even if the offense occurred more than ten years ago, an old intoxicated driving conviction can still cause potential issues when crossing the border. In order to be eligible for Criminal Rehabilitation, all sentencing (including probation) must have been finished more than five years ago. Rehabilitation is a permanent fix, and is frequently the ideal solution for commercial drivers since it never needs to be renewed. It can take up to a year to obtain Criminal Rehabilitation, however, so many in the transportation business need temporary access to cover them in the meantime.

Requesting permission from the Canadian Government to enter the country with a DWI because you are a commercial truck driver can be considered a valid reason for issuance of a Temporary Resident Permit, but immigration authorities typically want proof that an applicant needs to cross the border for work purposes such as a letter from an employer or a delivery contract. Economic considerations play a significant role when deciding whether or not a candidate should be permitted entrance, and long haul truckers are vital to the shared Canadian and American economy. For this reason, it may be possible for truck drivers to obtain a Canada TRP with a misdemeanor or felony record, but they should always consult with an immigration attorney about their specific case. Our Canadian immigration lawyer has helped many US truckers overcome their Canada DUI entry impediment. When eligible for Canadian rehabilitation, this is typically the best route to pursue since it never expires.

FAST Pass and DUI

Many North American long haul truck drivers have a FAST card allowing them to cross the Canada-USA border significantly faster. FAST stands for Free and Secure Trade, and the joint CBSA/CBP FAST program is a clearance program for commercial drivers designed to speed up trade between the two countries while at the same time ensuring safety and security. Several border crossings, including all the major trucking routes such as the Ambassador Bridge, offer dedicated FAST lanes to expedite transport truck travel across the border. With a shorter inspection time and fewer questions from border agents, FAST pass drivers are in higher demand and often receive better pay since they are capable of delivering goods across the border in less time. The program is only available to "low risk" candidates, however, and applicants may not qualify for participation in the FAST program if they are criminally inadmissible to Canada due to an alcohol related arrest or conviction. Many commercial truck drivers interested in delivering loads to and from Canada also have a TWIC card (Transportation Worker Identification Credential), and in some cases may even have a HAZMAT certificate.

Qualifying for a FAST Card with a Criminal Record

If a long haul driver cannot get a FAST card because of a DUI or other criminal conviction, it may still be possible for them to quality by overcoming their criminal inadmissibility via the Canadian Criminal Rehabilitation program and then applying again with a clean slate. Since deliveries to and from Canada can pay extremely well, many Americans with a CDL view applying for Canadian Rehabilitation as an investment.

If you drive transport trucks but have a misdemeanor or felony stopping you from entering Canada, phone us today for a free consultation. We can help you request access to Canada, and may even be able to assist you in wiping the slate clean so you can obtain a FAST card.

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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!