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How Inadmissibility Can Be Avoided Under New DUI Laws in Canada

13 August, 2019

The maximum penalties for DUIs have increased in Canada from five to ten years as per the new legislation that has come into effect on 18th December 2018.

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After the legalization of marijuana in Canada recently, legislators have shifted their focus to ensuring that driving while high is discouraged. The rise in penalties for such driving is a step in that direction. The changes will also influence immigration and travel to Canada as it would now be quite challenging to avoid inadmissibility to Canada. People who have a single DUI on their record can be prohibited from entering the state, which is quite a problematic situation for a lot of Americans who have personal or professional ties in Canada.

As per this legislation, DUIs or convictions due to alcohol-related driving as categorized under serious criminality wherein the offenders will not be allowed to enter Canada. Such people can opt for a temporary resident permit to visit Canada for which they would need to present a significant reason. Another option is waiting for a minimum of five years after they have been sentenced to proceed with an application for criminal rehabilitation. If someone wishes to increase his chances of being allowed to enter Canada, pleading down DUI charges to some lesser offense might be a good option.

How to plead down the pending charges

If you have pending charges, some difficult decisions have to be made. Possibly, you may want to plead down your offense to avoid inadmissibility.

Let us give you an example. If you are from the United States, had a DUI charge, and you work for a company that conducts business in Canada. You may be asked to travel to Canada for business. A foreign legal consultation might be advisable if you think that the DA or judge might be open to a plea deal. In this case, we can help you. First, we will analyze the conditions and determine whether you may be inadmissible to Canada. We will then work with you to reach a probable plea and draft a tailored legal opinion letter. The letter would carry an explanation of the penalties that have been imposed by the law of Canada and how this would impact your employment. The ideal situation would be pleading down to an offense where alcohol is not involved.

This approach has been successful for a lot of our clients who have successfully pleaded down to convictions that did not make them inadmissible to Canada. In cases where inadmissibility could not be avoided, we worked to build up an alternate solution wherein it would be relatively easy for the you to get some relief via rehabilitation or TRP.

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