How A NJ DUI Conviction Could Affect Your Travel Plans
DUI offenses carry heavy penalties that can affect many aspects of your life. What many offenders don’t realize is that an NJ DUI conviction can affect travel plans. While many countries do not have immediate access to a criminal database at their borders, Canada does. If you have a DUI conviction, you should think twice before packing to visit our neighbors to the North.
Why Does Canada Deny Entry?
Canada reserves the right to bar entry to any foreigner who has committed an indictable offense. Although this is not the statute in New Jersey, an NJ DUI conviction carries a different weight in criminality in Canada. Canada does not go by the laws of a foreign country but by their own when considering immigration eligibility.
Are There Other Options?
Fortunately, those with an NJ DUI conviction do have options to get into Canada. In order to enter the country, you need either a temporary resident permit or you must go through criminal rehabilitation. A temporary resident permit allows access to Canada for up to three years before expiring. However, you must have a valid reason in order the permit to be granted.
The purpose of criminal rehabilitation is to show you live a stable life and haven’t gotten arrested since your DUI. You can apply for rehabilitation 5 years after the conviction and will be deemed rehabilitated automatically after 10 years. After rehabilitation, you will no longer be considered inadmissible to the country.
Arrested But Not Yet Convicted
If you have been arrested but have yet to receive an NJ DUI conviction, unfortunately, you are not in the clear. A DUI arrest is no different from a conviction according to Canadian immigration laws. However, if the charges are dismissed, an arrest alone will not bar entry into Canada. If you are awaiting trial, it is best to apply for a temporary resident permit or wait to see how the case plays out. Also, you will have a better chance of getting a dismissal if you hire an experienced DUI lawyer.
How Does Canada Know About The DUI?
Some travelers with an NJ DUI conviction may be tempted to try their luck at entering Canada regardless of their criminal record. However, Canadian border officials have access to databases that can instantly pull up your information. They use a database from the International Crime Information Center that will most likely have your record. If you try to go to Canada with a conviction and no permit, you will likely be turned around.
More Than One NJ DUI Conviction
The law is even more strict for those who have received more than one DUI conviction. For those with multiple DUIs, the 10-year rule for admissibility does not apply. No matter how long after your second DUI conviction, you will not be automatically be considered rehabilitated. In order to enter Canada with more than one DUI on your record, you must apply for a temporary permit or criminal rehabilitation.
Avoid an NJ DUI Conviction
The best way to travel freely to Canada or anywhere else is to avoid an NJ DUI conviction altogether. A DUI conviction can cause complications when you travel with renting a car or driving in another country. If you have been arrested for a DUI, it is best to retain an experienced DUI lawyer. Thomas V Campo is an expert lawyer in Toms River with over 20 years of experience and hundreds of cases won. He knows the legal system in and out and is your best bet in beating a DUI charge. DUI law is just one of many practice areas that Thomas V Campo specializes in. If you have been charged with a criminal offense in New Jersey, Contact Thomas V Campo.