- the maximum sentence someone could get is 10 or more years in prison, even if they get a shorter sentence or no time at all in prison, or
- the sentence that someone does get is more than 6 months in prison or jail.
With the legalization of marihuana, driving under the influence of drug has attracted a lot of public attention. It is a crime to operate a conveyance while impaired by drug, regardless of additional evaluations confirming specific blood intoxicant concentrations. A person committing an impaired driving crime, could face a fine, criminal charges or jail. If the offence is prosecuted by indictment, the person is liable to imprisonment for a term of up to 10 years; if the offence is punishable on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term of not more than 2 years less a day.
When someone who is not a Canadian citizen is charged with a crime, the police pass this information on to the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA). CBSA is responsible for enforcing immigration law. CBSA can detain a person for immigration reasons even if they are not detained as a result of the criminal charges. And if the person is convicted of a crime, CBSA may prepare a report. The report may lead to a deportation order or an “admissibility hearing” before the Immigration Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB). The hearing can result in a deportation order.
This means permanent residents may lose their status and have to leave the country; temporary residents (including visitors, international students and foreign workers) may not be able to enter or stay in Canada; refugee claimants may not be eligible to have their claim referred for a refugee hearing.
To enter Canada temporarily, the person has to apply for a temporary resident permit. This permit applies to those who are otherwise inadmissible but have a reason to travel to Canada that is justified in the circumstances. To be eligible for a temporary resident permit, the person’s need to enter or stay in Canada must outweigh the health or safety risks to Canadian society, as determined by an immigration or a border services officer. The processing fee is non-refundable and there is no guarantee that the person will be issued a temporary resident permit.
To become admissible again, the person can also apply for criminal rehabilitation. To apply, the person must: show that she meets the criteria, has been rehabilitated and is highly unlikely to take part in further crimes. Also, at least five years must have passed since: the end of your criminal sentence (this includes probation) and the day she committed the act that made her inadmissible.
If the person committed an impaired driving offence before December 18, 2018, whether the person is inadmissible will be based on the penalties in force at the time. This means the person may be inadmissible for criminality, and not serious criminality, unless the person received a prison sentence in Canada longer than 6 months.
If the person is inadmissible for criminality, the person may be eligible for deemed rehabilitation if at least 10 years has passed since completing the sentence. If the person is inadmissible for criminality, the person may be eligible for deemed rehabilitation if at least 10 years has passed since completing the sentence.
It is imperative for non-citizens and criminal law practitioners to be aware of the potential immigration consequences of driving under the influence of drug, although it is always a safe approach to drive responsibly. Please get in touch with one of our experienced Immigration Lawyer at MEHDI AU LLP for a detailed advice tailored to your situation.
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