Canada May Not Let You In the Country With a U.S. DUI/DWI Conviction

Last evening, I attended a NJ law seminar on collateral consequences of NJ motor vehicle violation/tickets and criminal charges. Collateral consequences are types of effects or penalties that are not usually apparent to someone charged with an NJ traffic violation/ticket or and NJ criminal offense.

Examples of collateral consequences include: forfeiture of public office, loss of the ability to purchase, carry, or possess firearms, inability to expunge an offense, insurance eligibility points, administrative drivers license suspensions, inability to buy car insurance on the open market, loss of vanity plates, civil consequences, loss of the ability to sue for property damage or pain and suffering after an accident, and special penalty enhancements.

An interesting collateral consequence, which affects many people is that when you are convicted or have plead guilty to a DUI-DWI-DAI offense, you can be prevented from entering the country of Canada. It doesn’t matter if your DUI-DWI-DAI offense occurred in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, California, or even in China. Canadian law considers drunk driving as a serious offense, even more serious then here in the United States.

There still may be some ways to get into the country. Those who have been convicted of a DUI-DWI-DAI offense and 5 years of time has elapsed since the case, you may apply for a Minister’s Approval of Rehabilitation. The Minister’s Approval will permanently remove the inadmissibility caused by conviction of a DUI-DWI-DAI.

If less than 5 years have elapsed since your DUI-DWI-DAI, or if persons are only seeking entry to Canada for a single or limited period, then they may apply for a Temporary Permit.

You can find information about these programs on the Washingtton Canadian Embassy website by clicking here: Washington Canadian Embassy.

The author of this Law Blog, Bucks County PA & Mercer County, NJ criminal attorney, Michael L. Saile, Jr., Esq. of Cordisco & Saile LLC, Attorneys-at-Law practices both New Jersey and Pennsylvania criminal, traffic violations, and DUI/DWI/DAI law. Check out our website for DUI penalties. We handle all NJ Municipal Court cases including DUI in the following NJ Municipal Courts: Hopewell Township, Ewing Township, Trenton, Lawrence Township, Hamilton, Pennington, and other Mercer County, Burlington County, and Camden County, NJ courts. We also handle lower bucks county DUI and traffic violation cases in the following towns: Bensalem, Southampton, Richboro, Newtown, Levittown, Langhorne, Doylestown, Warminster, Trevose, Feasterville, Warrington, Bristol, Fallsington, Morrisville, Yardley, New Hope, Holland, Washington Crossing, PA, and other Bucks County courts. We handle DUI cases in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery County, PA. We are located just outside of Philadelphia in lower Bucks County.