Can you enter Canada with a Reckless Driving charge on your record?

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Arrested vs. Convicted and the impact on entry into Canada
September 1, 2016
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We are often asked questions about whether a charge or a conviction for reckless driving can result in inadmissibility. More often than not, convictions for reckless driving are the results of reduced charges (as opposed to people literally getting arrested on charges of reckless driving itself), which usually initially involved an alcohol-related driving offense, such as driving under the influence (“DUI”), driving while intoxicated (“DWI”), operating a vehicle impaired (“OVI”), or operating while intoxicated (“OWI”) to name but a few. Punishments following a conviction for reckless driving are also likely to be less severe than those for drinking and driving.

Which leads us to Canada, its border, and whether any issues can ensue. There have been instances where people thought that, due to the conviction resulting on a lesser charge, one that doesn’t involve alcohol, they would still be able to enter Canada. The question here is not “Can I enter Canada if there was no alcohol involved in the conviction?”, but rather “is there a Canadian equivalent to the offense for which I was convicted?”

As it happens, there exists a Canadian equivalent for the offense of reckless driving. One conviction for a single such charge is sufficient to block entry to Canada. This means that, even though there never was any conviction for a DUI or a DWI, the fact that there was one for reckless driving usually means that inadmissibility will remain regardless. Should you have specific questions pertaining to a particular case, we invite you to call us.