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Ask the Denver Criminal Defense Attorney: Can I Go to Canada If I Have A DUI?


October 9, 2017

Having a DUI conviction on your record could affect your ability to find employment and legally drive, but these aren’t the only consequences that you could face. Many people are surprised when their Denver criminal defense attorney tells them that a DUI on their record could affect their ability to travel to Canada.

Canada’s DUI Laws

DUI laws may be considered strict in the United States, but they are not nearly as harsh as the laws for driving under the influence in Canada. A DUI is considered an “indictable offense” in Canada, which means it is equivalent to a felony here in the states.

Gaining Entrance to Canada

Before entering Canada, you will have to answer a number of questions. One of these questions is, “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” Anyone that has been convicted of DUI must say “yes” to this question. Even if you don’t think the DUI was a big deal because it was a misdemeanor, you must answer this question honestly.

Some people think that if they are not planning on driving while they are in Canada, they do not have to be honest about their criminal record, but that’s not the case. Lying in order to gain entry to the country may lead to additional legal consequences. Learn more about Canada: DWI or DUI driving convictions.

Will you be turned away at the border if you have a DUI on your record? Not necessarily, but it is possible. There are two ways that a person with a DUI can get into Canada. The first is by showing that you have been rehabilitated, but you will only qualify for this option if your DUI occurred at least five years ago. If it did, ask an attorney for help filling out the extensive paperwork that must be submitted.

The second option is filing for a temporary resident permit (TRP), which is not offered to anyone with two or more DUI convictions. You can either apply in advance for this permit or do it on the spot at the Canadian border, but of course, it’s much better to do it ahead of time to ensure the request is approved.

It’s important to note that some DUI offenders may be allowed into the country without having to obtain a permit or file for rehabilitation. Canada will typically allow you to enter if you only have one DUI conviction on your record and it occurred over 10 years ago. If you have not been convicted of any crimes since then, Canadian officials will most likely assume that you have been rehabilitated and allow you into the country.

If you are arrested and charged with DUI, it’s in your best interest to get in touch with the Law Office of John Buckley right away. Our criminal defense attorneys will work tirelessly to defend your rights and ensure you receive the best legal representation possible. Contact John L. Buckley as soon as possible to schedule a legal consultation regarding your DUI case.