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If you have a conviction for driving while impaired (DWI) on your record, it can impact your ability to cross the northern border into Canada. The good news is that many people with DWI convictions are ultimately able to enter Canada legally. The bad news is that the approval process can be costly and time consuming. If you fail to take the necessary steps ahead of time, you could find yourself locked out of the country on the day you intended to travel there.

Dealing with the consequences of a DWI can be challenging on many levels. What some people do not realize at the time of their arrest is that these charges are often defensible. Each year, the attorneys of Gerald Miller take on the state and prevail in DWI trials. If you are facing a Minnesota DWI charge, call right away to learn more.

Will a Misdemeanor DWI Prevent Entry Into Canada?

The criminal justice system in Canada does not differentiate between misdemeanors and felonies. Instead, they classify their lesser charges as summary offenses and their more serious charges as indictable offenses. Under Canada law, the prosecution has the discretion to charge a DWI as either a summary or indictable offense. According to Canadian law, any offense that could be either a summary or indictable offense is treated as indictable for immigration purposes. In other words, the Canadian government treats DWI-related offenses as the highest tier of criminal charge when making decisions on a foreigner’s admissibility to the country. For that reason, a misdemeanor DWI is just as likely to prevent your entry into Canada as a felony.

Methods for Entering Canada With a DWI Conviction

A DWI conviction can complicate your entry into Canada, but it may not prevent it entirely. In fact, many individuals with DWI convictions are ultimately able to enter the country when they take the necessary steps. There are two methods allow for a person with a DWI conviction to enter Canada. These options include a temporary resident permit or a criminal rehabilitation.

Temporary Resident Permit (TRP)

Canada is known to make temporary exceptions that allow some individuals with criminal histories to enter the country. This exception is known as temporary resident permit (TRP).

As the name suggest, a TRP only allows a person entry into the United States or a limited period of time. A person seeking a TRP to enter Canada must establish a significant reason they need their inadmissibility waived. If granted, a TRP allows you to enter Canada temporarily to visit, work, or study. It is not an avenue that will result in permanent residency, though.

The period a TRP covers can vary. Some receive a TRP for a single day while others can maintain this status for up to 36 months. This documentation can also limit the number of times can enter or leave the country. If you receive a TRP, you will need to provide documentation of it each time you cross the border.

Criminal Rehabilitation (CR)

Unlike a TRP, criminal rehabilitation (CR) is permanent. Essentially, this process waives your criminal inadmissibility forever. A CR is more than just a document that allows you to get around your inadmissibility. Instead, it erases that inadmissibility entirely. For immigration purposes, it is liked you were never convicted of a DWI.

A CR is only available under certain circumstances. The most important limitation is based on time. You may only obtain a CR if at least five years have passed since your entire sentence was completed. This includes not only jail time but also any period of probation or parole as well.

Avoiding a DWI Conviction With the Help of Gerald Miller

Ultimately, the process of entering Canada with a DWI conviction is never guaranteed to be successful. Difficulty with entering Canada or other foreign countries are just one of the unexpected consequences that can come with a DWI conviction. Without an attorney, pleading guilty to a DWI could result in countless unexpected consequences over the course of your life.

Never take on a DWI case alone. When you put your defense in the hands of the right attorneys, you could obtain the favorable outcome you deserve. Let the attorneys of Gerald Miller assist you with your DWI defense. Call right away to learn more.

Kyle Dreger

Kyle Dreger is a skilled DUI/DWI and Criminal Defense lawyer at Gerald Miller P.A. Kyle has received his law degree from the University of St. Thomas School of Law. He is also a professionally trained basketball player.


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