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Can I Enter Canada If I Have a DUI?

Probably not! As a Northern Kentucky DUI and criminal defense attorney I recently had a client who flew into Canada and was turned away by the Canadian authorities because he had a DUI pending in Boone County, Kentucky. Clients seeking to travel to Canada with pending crimnal matters or convictions from the U.S. require unique advice. With the Olympics pending, many US citizens are likely to be suprised when they seek entry into Canada; and are likely to be extremely disappointed if/when they are turned back at the border. Almost everyone takes entry into Canada for granted, therefore it is important to consider several issues relating to entry to Canada. The Canadian Customs and Immigration Officers have ultimate authority to permit and deny anyone entry to Canada. No one has an automatic right to enter Canada. However, most people if they have no criminal record are allowed entry. A DUI in Canada is a felony punishible up to 5 years and therefore an excludable offense under the Immigration Act. Anyone with a conviction in the United States that is treated as a felony or indictable offense in Canada is excludable from Canada, but even if the offense is not a felony or indictable offense in Canada, Customs and Immigration Officers have ultimate authority to permit and deny entry to Canada. Almost all convictions (including DUI, DWI, reckless driving, negligent driving, misdemeanor drug possession, all felonies, domestic violence, assault, shoplifting, theft, etc) can make a person inadmissible to Canada, regardless of when they occurred or if they are pending. If you are planning a trip to Canada for the Olympics (or otherwise) and you have a DUI pending or conviction, you should first contact an attorney and see if you can obtain documents which would permit your entry. In Northern Kentucky, you may contact Michael W. Bouldin at 859-581-6453 or mwbouldin@fuse.net.

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