Criminal Defense Legal Blog

posted January 11, 2019

Travel Prohibition To Canada After DUI Conviction

Under Canadian immigration law, a U.S. Citizen who has been convicted of a DUI or a "wet reckless" is prohibited from entering into Canada. This exclusion applies to first time offenders, misdemeanor or felony DUI's, and multiple offenders. It does not matter if you fly or walk or drive into Canada. Once you are stopped at the international border, Canadian authorities will have access to your criminal history and will prohibit entry based on a DUI or a "wet reckless" conviction. This exclusion even applies to U.S. travelers who stop in Canada but are traveling to other countries. There is no time limit on how old your conviction is unless you had only one conviction and it was over 10 years ago.

Here at the Law Office of Mitri Hanania, we can advise you on what options you have to enter Canada lawfully.

How To Enter Canada With A DUI Or Wet Reckless Conviction

Canadian immigration law makes several exceptions to the rule that U.S. Citizens with a DUI or "wet reckless" conviction are not admissible to Canada.

Deemed Rehabilitation

"Deemed Rehabilitation" is one way in which you can get permission to enter Canada even with a DUI or wet reckless conviction on your record.

The requirements for deemed rehabilitation are as follows:

  1. The maximum term of imprisonment for your DUI conviction was less than ten (10) years;
  1. You completed the sentence for your DUI at least ten (10) years ago; and
  1. In those 10 years, you have not committed or been convicted of any other crime that would be an indictable offense in Canada.
  • If you received a suspended sentence, 5 years from the date of sentencing;
  • If you received a suspended sentence and a fine, 5 years from the date you paid the fine;
  • 5 years from the end of your term of imprisonment if you received a prison term but no parole;
  • 5 years from the end of your parole or probation if you were sentenced to either; OR
  • 5 years from the end date of any driver's license suspension or restriction that you received.
  • The number of convictions on your record;
  • The nature and seriousness of each crime;
  • Your behavior since your convictions;
  • Your explanation of your past criminal behavior and why you are not likely to commit further crimes;
  • Why you think you are rehabilitated; and
  • Your present circumstances, including support you receive from your community.

As with the application for individual rehabilitation, a processing fee is required and the assistance of an experienced attorney could help make your application a successful one.

If you meet the requirements for deemed rehabilitation, then you have the right to enter Canada. However, it is advisable that you carry documentation when traveling showing that your sentence was completed more than 10 years ago.

Individual Rehabilitation

If 10 years have not yet passed since you completed your DUI or "wet reckless" sentence, you may still be eligible to enter Canada through what Canadian authorities call "individual rehabilitation" or rehabilitation by application.

Individual rehabilitation is available to you if you completed your sentence at least five (5) years ago. The five-year waiting period is calculated as follows:

  • Unlike deemed rehabilitation, individual rehabilitation requires you to submit a Canadian Form IMM 1444 - Application for Criminal Rehabilitation. You must explain why you believe that you are now rehabilitated and, despite your DUI, will not pose a risk to public safety in Canada.

You must also submit a processing fee, which is nonrefundable even if your application is rejected. The form and fee can be submitted to a Canadian Visa office in the U.S.

In deciding whether or not to grant your application for rehabilitation from a DUI conviction, a Canadian immigration officer will consider the following factors:

Please note: Applications for individual rehabilitation can take over a year to process.

Record Suspension Or Discharge

Under Canadian law, you may not be kept out of the country because of a DUI or "wet reckless" conviction for which a "record suspension" has been issued.

A record suspension is a Canadian legal concept that could correspond to a petition for dismissal pursuant to Penal Code section 1203.4. The Law Office of Mitri Hanania can assist in obtaining this petition.

Temporary Resident Permits

If less than 5 years have passed since you completed your DUI or "wet reckless" sentence and thus you are not eligible for individual rehabilitation then you may still be able to enter Canada by successfully applying for a "temporary resident permit."

A temporary resident permit may be available to you even if your DUI or "wet reckless" conviction is relatively recent. However, it will permit you to visit Canada only for a specific purpose, and for a limited period of time.

To be eligible for a temporary resident permit, you must be able to show that you need to enter Canada is compelling enough to outweigh any risk to public safety that you might present because of your criminal history. This means that both the reason for your visit, and the nature of your criminal record will help determine whether your application will be granted.


posted January 7, 2019

The New DUI Law in 2019

Come January 1, 2019, if arrested and then convicted for a DUI in California, the new ignition interlock device (IID) requirement will apply to you. For first time offenders, that means you will have to install an IID on any car that you own or drive for six months. This blog will explain what is an IID, who will the new law apply to, and answer most common questions regarding the new law. Remember, if arrested for a DUI, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney in your area prior to appearing in court.

What Is An IID?

An IID is a device that is installed in your car that a driver blows into in order to start the car. The IID is similar to a breathalyzer, meaning that as your breath into the device, it measures alcohol in a person's system. If the IID senses the person had been drinking, then the IID will lock the car's ignition so it cannot start. The IID must be installed by a state certified IID dealer. The cost of installing an IID is usually anywhere from $70 to $100. The monthly fee for having the IID is usually $60 to $90.

Who Is Required To Install An IID?

Anyone arrested in California on or after January 1, 2019 for a DUI involving alcohol must install an IID. If your arrest occurred prior to January 1, 2019, then the old law would apply, even if your conviction did not occur until after January 1, 2019. In addition, the new law applies to DUI's involving alcohol only. If you have been arrested and convicted of a DUI alcohol and drugs or just drugs, then the old law would apply.

How Long Must I Have An IID Installed For?

For a first time offender, you must have the IID installed for at least 6 months and until all of the reinstatement requirements have been met. For a second time offender, you must have the IID installed for at least 12 months and until all the reinstatement requirements have been met.

What Are The Reinstatement Requirements?

In order to reinstate your driver's license after your suspension period, you must: complete the appropriate DUI school (32 hour, 9 month, or 18 month), obtain an SR-22 insurance declaration, and pay the DMV reinstatement fee.

Can I Get A Restricted License With My IID?

The main benefit of the new law is that you will be able to drive without any restrictions on your license and without any mandatory hard suspension. For example, under the old law, a driver would have to wait until the 30 day mandatory hard suspension was over and then apply for a restricted license that would only allow for driving to and from work, within the scope of employment, and to and from the DUI school. Nothing else. Under the new law, there is no mandatory hard suspension and the driver can drive anywhere with the IID installed.

Can I Decline To Install An IID And If So, What Happens?

If you decline to install an IID, then your license will be restricted for 12 months. For second time offenders, the DMV will require you to install an IID for 12 months before reinstating your license.

An experienced attorney can help advise you how to navigate through this complex process. Contact the Law Office of Mitri Hanania if you need to consult with an attorney about your DUI arrest.