New DUI laws in Canada will affect non-citizens
New changes the Canadian criminal code took effect on December 18, 2018. Impaired driving will lead to severe consequences for permanent residents and foreign nationals since it is considered now a serious criminal offence. First of all, the sentence was increased from five to 10 years, and second, this offence will affect the immigration status of Canadian permanent residents.
The elevation of impaired driving offences to serious criminality means permanent residents could be in jeopardy of losing their PR status and could potentially face deportation if they are convicted of an impaired driving offence committed after December 18, 2018, in Canada or overseas.
In addition, offences committed after December 18, individuals charged with impaired driving will never achieve what’s called “deemed rehabilitation.” (Deemed rehabilitation is a concept whereby people with a single, non-serious offence on their record will no longer be considered inadmissible to Canada after a period of 10 years has elapsed from the completion of their sentence.)
Because impaired driving will be considered serious criminality as of December 18, deemed rehabilitation will never take effect for those who are caught driving while impaired after this date. Such individuals will be obligated to apply for criminal rehabilitation if they hope to resolve the fact that they are considered inadmissible to Canada.
This matter is very new, complex and has many multiple implications for Permanent Residents. Therefore, we strongly recommend you to take an action and request a private consultation if deportation was not your New Year Resolution.