The effects of a DUI conviction can be devastating. Not only will you be required to pay fines and possible serve jail time, but your ability to enter another country could be compromised as well. If you are an American citizen, your conviction record could prevent you from entering Canadian provinces.
Here are three things you need to know in order to work with a criminal defence lawyer to ensure you are eligible to enter Canada legally.
1. You can't have any pending criminal charges in state or federal court.
In order to be granted entry into a Canadian province after you have been convicted of a DUI in the United States you will need to have your conviction vacated. This means you must petition the court to set aside its verdict in order to gain legal entry into Canada.
Before a defence lawyer can assist you with the process of vacating a conviction, they will check to ensure you don't have any pending criminal charges in state or federal court. Pending charges will impede the process of vacating your conviction, so be sure to resolve any pending criminal charges before attempting to enter Canada.
2. You must not have had the record of another conviction vacated.
Individuals wishing to gain entry into a new country must generally be able to prove that they will be productive citizens. If you need to have a DUI conviction vacated before you can enter Canada legally, having the record of another conviction vacated previously could hurt your chances.
Multiple vacated convictions could signal a pattern of irresponsible behavior, and a criminal defence lawyer will have a hard time helping you enter Canada legally if you have a history of multiple vacated convictions.
3. You can't be convicted of another DUI after you file for a vacated conviction for a previous DUI.
Statistics show that 1.4 million drivers are arrested for DUIs in the United States each year. If you want to be able to enter Canada legally, it's imperative that you don't become one of these drivers in the future.
If you are arrested for driving under the influence after a defence lawyer files to have your previous conviction overturned, you will hurt your chances of being granted entry into Canada in the future.
Having the opportunity to visit Canada can be difficult if you have a DUI. Working with a criminal defence lawyer to try and have your conviction overturned will give you the best possible chance of entering the country legally in the future. For more information, contact Saheel Zaman Law Corporation or a similar firm.