Being convicted of a DUI can have serious impacts on your life – especially if you are a permanent resident of Canada.
Our guide explains how a DUI conviction can impact your status in Canada.
What is Permanent Residency?
According to the Government of Canada, “a permanent resident is someone who has been given permanent resident status by immigrating to Canada but is not a Canadian citizen. Permanent residents are citizens of other countries.”
Permanent residents have the same legal rights as citizens and therefore are entitled to both fair representation, but also equal punishment for any conviction.
What are the Punishments of a DUI Conviction?
The punishments of a DUI conviction can be severe and damaging to your livelihood. This is because a DUI is a criminal charge according to the Criminal Code of Canada.
Depending on the number of DUI charges and convictions, your punishment will range significantly. Overall, the punishments can include heavy fines, driving licence suspensions, car impounds, and up to ten years of imprisonment.
This applies to all individuals living in Canada, whether you are a citizen, resident or on temporary visas, such as a study, travel or work.
How a DUI Impacts Your Permanent Residency
In December 2018, Bill C-46 came into force, determining that a DUI charge is a ‘serious criminality’, and therefore, results in more severe punishments. The most serious distinction is that imprisonment for a DUI can now be up to 10 years instead of five. But most significantly, DUIs are now considered ‘serious criminality’ under immigration law.
What does that mean for permanent residents in Canada?
If a Canadian permanent resident is convicted of a DUI, they can lose their status and face deportation – even for a first-time DUI offence. They will have no right of appeal and will be inadmissible to enter Canada again.
It also applies to permanent residents living overseas. If they are convicted of a DUI in another country, like the USA, Australia or Britain, they can be denied entry and have their status denied.
Ultimately, you might lose your permanent resident status if convicted of a DUI in Canada or abroad.
Canadian Immigrants Facing DUI Should Consult with a DUI Lawyer
It’s imperative that if you are a Canadian immigrant and have been charged with a DUI, you seek immediate legal counsel from a DUI lawyer. Only with the experience of a legal professional, who understands the rules around DUIs can help you with your case.
Some solutions include: getting a record suspension from the Parole Board of Canada and applying for rehabilitation.
Your lawyer will be able to determine the best course of action for your case.
Joel Chevrefils of Alberta Criminal Defence Lawyers is here to defend you against all criminal charges. When charged with a criminal offence, such as impaired driving, domestic violence, or DUI, the first thing you should do is call your trusted Calgary criminal defence lawyer. His professionalism can help you with all concerns regarding your charges and the complex nature of Canada’s legal system. Joel Chevrefils can help you with your charges in and outside Calgary, including Provincial Courts in Cochrane, Airdrie, Okotoks, Red Deer and Edmonton. Trust your case to Calgary’s most experienced criminal lawyer. Call Alberta Criminal Defence Lawyers today at (403) 830-1980.