WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR GETTING A PARDON FOR A DUI?July 14, 2016 / by Marco / Categories : Cars, Other, Reflection
A charge of DUI, or Driving Under the Influence (of drugs or alcohol) is one of the most commonly laid criminal charges in Canada. Like other criminal charges, it may be possible to go through the Canadian pardon application process and obtain a pardon for the crime.
It’s important to understand that a pardon does not “erase” a person’s criminal record. It still exists and can still be accessed in certain situations by certain parties. A pardon simply means that your record will be “set apart” from the general criminal database, so when an employer does a criminal record check on you when you apply for a job, for example, it will appear as though you do not have a record.
There are many important reasons why so many people seek the help of a criminal defense attorney to navigate the pardon process. Many people don’t even realize they can have their criminal record pardoned, and they carry the charges (and the restrictions they cause) with them for the rest of their lives. That’s where a criminal defense lawyer can come in useful.
One of the biggest reasons to seek a pardon in Canada is that having a criminal record can severely hamper one’s employment prospects. In Canada, most employers will conduct a criminal background check as part of their hiring process. If you have a DUI charge on your record, you will very likely be passed over for the job, almost certainly if the job involves driving. Note that if the job for which you are applying involves children, the employer will conduct what is known as a “vulnerable sector” search, in which case a criminal record will be revealed.
In addition to job prospects being affected by a DUI charge or other criminal charges, Canadians who have not been granted a pardon for their crimes can be turned away at the American border when trying to enter the country. If you have been granted a pardon, however, your record will not show up in the American database when they do a search on you as you attempt to enter the country.
Generally, you can obtain a pardon for a DUI charge five years after the charges have been laid and you have paid the fine. For that reason, it is very important to pay the fine as quickly as possible after it is levied against you, so you can start the pardon process as quickly as possible.
If you have received a charge of DUI, you may think it’s simply a matter of paying the fine and moving on with your life. Not so. DUI is a criminal charge, and you will have a criminal record following the incident. That criminal record can severely hamper your life in ways you may not even imagine right now. Because of that, it’s wise to apply for a pardon as soon as you are eligible. Although you are not required to have legal help to navigate the process, it’s usually a good idea to do so as the legal system can be quite daunting to the average layperson.
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