Dismissed Charges and the effect on entry to Canada

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According to the relevant Canadian legislation, inadmissibility should not be based upon an offense for which there has been a final determination of an acquittal. In other words, a dismissed charge should not be used as grounds to prevent entry to Canada. Dismissals can occur as a decision of the court at the conclusion of a trial, or following the successful compliance of a series of conditions imposed by the court. In the latter case, the dismissal usually follows an initial suspended sentence or a conviction. In the state of California for example, and depending on the situation, charges such as driving under the influence (“DUI”) which have led to a conviction, can sometimes be dismissed afterwards, if the defendant has successfully complied with the ordered conditions, and subsequently petitioned the court for the dismissal.

However, the issue of a dismissed charge can be a tricky one. Canadian authorities must confirm unequivocally that a charge was dismissed, so as to confirm that it may not justify inadmissibility, and the burden will rest with the person considered inadmissible until convinced otherwise. Simply saying that a charge was dismissed without any proof in support will not be considered sufficient. There are also case where the court will dismiss a single charge only, while one more others will remain. Consequently, inadmissibility can still apply on the basis of the other charges. Should your situation bring about questions as to whether or not a charge on your record has effectively been dismissed and whether you should be allowed entry to Canada, we invite you to contact us to further discuss the matter.

In the case of a confirmed dismissed charge, lawyers at JTM Immigration Inc. can prepare a legal opinion explaining the nature of the offense, its dismissal and the effect the latter can have on admissibility to Canada.