When foreign nationals make plans to travel to Canada for business or pleasure they often don’t realize that certain criminal convictions on their record can prevent their entry to Canada. For this reason, during sentencing, individuals are not always aware of the consequences of a criminal record do not always seek out alternative sentencing measures.
More often than not, a DUI conviction will cause a person to be criminally inadmissible to Canada. If a person is charged with a DUI and is familiar with the programs available in their state, they may have options for a sentence that will not lead to inadmissibility to Canada. Programs that postpone entering a guilty judgment in favour of probation are an excellent option in these cases, as the successful completion of the probation results in the charge being dismissed and no criminal conviction being entered.
Almost all American states have programs that will allow individuals to keep their clean criminal record after completing probation or community service measures. These programs go by a number of different names across the United States:
- Suspended Imposition of Sentence
- Deferred Imposition of Sentence
- Deferred Adjudication
- Deferred Prosecution
- Deferred Entry of Judgment
- Deferred Disposition of Sentence
- Pre-Trial Diversion
- Pre-Trial Intervention
- Probation Without Judgment
- Offender Initiative Programs
- Conditional Discharge
Of course, not all programs with these names are equivalent, so it is important to consult the state statutes to determine the specific details of the program. It is also important to note the difference between a suspended sentence and a suspended imposition of sentence and between a deferred sentence and a deferred imposition of sentence.
Individuals charged with a crime should keep these programs in mind and should seek out alternative sentencing options in their state to ensure no inadmissibility to Canada. To determine if your state offers a conditional discharge program for which DUIs are eligible, consult this link.
FWCanada is a Montreal-based immigration law firm that provides professional legal services on Canadian immigration. For more tips and updates on Canadian immigration follow FWCanada on Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin.