Oh Canada – May I Come In?

SQ Attorneys

SQ Attorneys

Although we at SQ Attorneys don’t work on or near the Canadian border, a common question we get is whether a pending DUI can impact a person’s right to travel to Canada.

It is of course well known in the DUI defense community that a DUI ‘conviction’ will absolutely impact a person’s right to travel to Canada. In fact, a conviction for any offense that is “indictable” under Canadian law will prevent a person from being able to cross into Canada. This includes convictions for reduced DUI charges such as Reckless Driving and Negligent Driving in the First Degree.  But … what about a ‘pending’ DUI charge?  The answer to that question, unfortunately, is not so clear.  That is so because unlike convictions, where exclusion is mandatory, exclusion based upon a pending DUI charge is essentially left to the individual border agent’s discretion; they don’t have to deny or admit entry into Canada.  And if they don’t admit the person in there isn’t any amount of arguing that is going to change the situation.  This, of course, can lead to some stressful situations when going to Canada for family or business trips or even for weddings, and bachelor/ bachelorette parties.

Based on the foregoing, when dealing with Canadian border issues, we at SQ Attorneys always recommend that one seek the advice of an immigration attorney at or near the Canadian border. A Canadian immigration attorney will be able to give the best and most up to date information possible about entry into Canada.

If you or a loved one is accused of DUI, you should immediately consult with a qualified Seattle DUI lawyer. A qualified and respected Seattle DUI lawyer, among other things, can quite possibly save the aggrieved person thousands of dollars in court and insurance fees, the extent of loss of privilege to drive, and the amount of jail time to be served. We have said it before and will say it again, Washington DUI laws are far too complicated for any ol’ attorney to handle. Be smart and consult with a qualified and skilled Seattle DUI attorney when arrested for an alcohol and/or drug related DUI in Washington State.

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