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Out of State Residents - Know Your Rights

Most DUI offenses are charged as misdemeanors in California, which means that an attorney can appear for you in Court. Retaining a local attorney can save you airfare, car rental, and lodging expenses. It means that you do not have to lose valuable time from work, or deal with the embarrassment and humiliation of facing a judge and public courtroom.

If you retain Paul Burglin as your attorney, he will make all of the appearances for you in Court, handle all of the paperwork, and fight to keep your driving privilege. If your participation in a DMV administrative hearing becomes necessary, arrangements can be made by Mr. Burglin to telephone conference you into the hearing from wherever you are residing or working!

Although you may not have a California driver’s license or have any intention of ever driving in California again, it is important for you to know that A SUSPENSION OF YOUR DRIVING PRIVILEGE IN CALIFORNIA MAY RESULT IN A SUSPENSION OF YOUR DRIVING PRIVILEGE IN YOUR HOME STATE! There are only a handful of states that are not a party to the Interstate Driver License Compact Agreement---a contractual agreement between California and approximately 45 other states concerning licensing information. The bottom line is that you want to avoid, if not at least shorten, any driver's license suspension action by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), no matter where you live!

Call Paul Burglin now at (415) 729-7300

Canadian Travel --- Denial of Entry Based On Drunk Driving, Hit-Run, Driving On a Suspended License, Refusing Chemical Test

Some countries exclude non-citizens from entry based on criminal convictions reflecting a lack of good character.  Entry into Canada is particularly problematic for folks with a drunk driving conviction on their record, and all the more so because the United States shares criminal and motor vehicle databases with Canadian authorities. 

 Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, Chap. 27 (2001), § 36, states that a “foreign national” is “inadmissible” if that person “committed” or was “convicted of” a single offense that would constitute an “indictable” offense under an Act of Parliament.  It does not matter if the offense occurred in another country.  Driving under the influence, driving with a .08 percent or higher alcohol content, refusing a chemical test, leaving the scene of an accident, and driving on a suspended license, are each independently deemed to be indictable offenses under the Criminal Code of Canada. A conviction for anyone of these offenses makes one inadmissible to Canada.  Moreover, a “conviction” includes deferred dispositions where a “guilty” or “no contest” plea has been entered.

In California, an individual convicted of “reckless driving” pursuant to California Vehicle Code  (CVC) § 23103 may be excluded because a conviction involving “dangerous driving” is an excludable offense.  If the reckless driving conviction was alcohol related (i.e., the subject is sentenced pursuant to CVC § 23103.5) exclusion may be based on dangerous driving or simply because the elements for a DUI conviction in Canada are present.  These cases should be referred to a specialist in Canadian Immigration law.

In addition to convictions causing a problem with Canadian travel, admission may be denied to one who has “committed” an act that amounts to an indictable offense.  Hence, an administrative suspension by the Department of Motor Vehicles for a DUI-related incident (excessive BAC or chemical test refusal) is grounds for exclusion.

Inadmissible persons found in Canada may face deportation and possible prosecution. 


Generally, the aforementioned first offense individuals are “deemed” rehabilitated after ten years from the end of the last court-ordered sanction (e.g., when the term of court probation ends).  However, multiple offenders cannot be deemed rehabilitated!

Folks eligible for rehabilitation after 10 years may apply for it after five years.  Forms to apply for rehabilitation are available online at the Immigration Canada website, but fees and supporting documentation are required.  The process can take up to a year. 

Those persons seeking entry sooner than these deadlines may apply for a Temporary Resident Permit which is good for up to six months.  These can be issued at the border but are usually denied.  It is best to apply through the Canadian Consulate before travelling, and at least six months ahead of time.  Those who are travelling for business, particularly where it has some benefit to Canada and her people, have a better chance of obtaining approval.

CAUTION:  One should not rely upon this information before making a determination about Canadian travel.  You should consult with Canadian Immigration Counsel.