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will we be denied entry bc of old criminal offense?

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Dallas, Texas
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will we be denied entry bc of old criminal offense?

I have an incredibly time sensitive issue - please do not pass judgment =)

8 years ago, I was convicted of marijuana possession, had deferred adjudication with probation, and now all is well - it's also been expunged from my record.

In 2007, my husband was arrested for possession of marijuana, (both of us had Class B misdemeanors) - He got deferred adjudication as well last January and he finished probation last month.

Everything I read, it seems that there is a good chance that BOTH of us will be denied entry.

Is this correct? I just want a straight answer from someone haha - everyone uses the word 'may' - (you MAY be denied entry, you MAY be allowed in..)

We're calling the Canadian Consulate tomorrow morning.

Any words of advice??

I know that a DUI is a very serious offense and considered a felon in Canada, but what about a measly marijuana possession conviction?

THANKS FOR ANY HELP =)

(I don't know if it makes any difference, but we're flying from Dallas, Texas)

Edited: 05 November 2010, 06:27
Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: will we be denied entry bc of old criminal offense?

I'm afraid no one on the forum here will likely be able to tell you a straight answer. We are not Canadian Customs Officials, the ones who know and enforce the laws.

Our term is Criminal Offence rather than felony but it amounts to the same thing.

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g153339-c49436/Canada…

Here is another TA thread with some good tips. It's got a link at #2 to the CBSA website where you can check for convictions information.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g153339-i49-k37018…

Good luck, hope it works out.

Edited: 05 November 2010, 06:46
Cottonwood, Arizona
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2. Re: will we be denied entry bc of old criminal offense?

Simple, drive into Seattle, rent a car and drive across the border. Answer the questions asked in as many words as possible. PM me for more info...

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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3. Re: will we be denied entry bc of old criminal offense?

Sorry, none of us can be any more specific than to say you MAY be denied entry..... but I just couldn't resist pointing out the irony of being denied entry into BC for marijuana offences, "BC Bud" being probably the biggest industry/export in BC. ;-)

It's up to the border agent's discretion whether you are admitted or not (with or without *any* criminal convictions). Answer his/her questions truthfully (they may have info about your convictions up on their monitors and be testing you) but stick to the facts... don't offer any info other than what is asked.

Edited: 05 November 2010, 08:06
Dallas, Texas
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4. Re: will we be denied entry bc of old criminal offense?

Thank you, everyone.

I have somewhat misspoken, so maybe answers will differ:

Neither of us were actually CONVICTED of the crime, (hence deferred adjudication - i always forget that it's one ore the other - not both) - so yes, neither of us have actually been convicted.

Does that change things? I feel like it should make everything 'ok' because of the no longer existing word, 'convicted' - what do you think?

I completely understand that none of you can claim to be experts here and I understand that at the end, everything boils down to the individual who stamps your passport

UGH

thanks again for everyone's help! I'm so sorry to be a nag - our trip is TOMORROW and I can not believe I overlooked this possible huge issue =(

West Grey, Ontario
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5. Re: will we be denied entry bc of old criminal offense?

Hi lammkat;

If the Canada Customs officer looks on the American "NCIC" computer database, would it show that you have a criminal record ?

If the answer is yes, then you could have a problem.

Did your "deferred adjudication" involve probation or community service ? Has that period or number of hours been satisfied ?

Best Regards

Dallas, Texas
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6. Re: will we be denied entry bc of old criminal offense?

hi!

Since we both had deferred adjudication, that essentially meant that we were not convicted - instead, we were both on probation for a bit to make sure we didn't mess up again. Both of us HAVE completed our probation requirements. I have documentation in my hands at the moment confirming MY status (probation terms completed), but at the moment we do not have that document for my husband in our possession. I know that if someone did a background check on us right now for a job, neither of us would be 'in the system' - Obviously a Govt agency is going to have access to deeper records, but I know that we can legally say, on a job application, 'no i have not but been convicted of a crime'

That should mean we're okay? Right? I know there's not guarantee until we actually land in Canada tomorrow, but if you were a betting man/woman.... ? =)

I am so sorry to drive all of you crazy. I'm pretty sure we'll be fine. I'm just so tired and stressed!!

Thank you ALL for your help. Really, really!! =)

West Grey, Ontario
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7. Re: will we be denied entry bc of old criminal offense?

Hi lammkat;

If you can reply "no i have not but been convicted of a crime", then I think that you will be OK.

However...if you are asked "Have you ever been arrested ?" or "Have you ever been charged ?", be sure to answer truthfully !

I'm not a betting man, but most likely, you'll be one of the 99% of the people that cross the border and will wonder what all the fuss was about.

Best Regards

p.s. please be sure to write back after your trip so that we can use your experience to assist others in the future.

Dallas, Texas
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8. Re: will we be denied entry bc of old criminal offense?

Thank you SO much. I really appreciate your help. We would definitely be completely honest and we have a very formal and detailed itinerary with our hotel reservations and travel plans and we look and act like a typical married couple, so I think I'm probably stressing out too much.

I will definitely write back after the trip. I love this site - there is SO much valuable information. I've gotten so much help and info from this site over the years that I very much want to 'give back'.

Thanks again!! =)

West Grey, Ontario
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9. Re: will we be denied entry bc of old criminal offense?

You're Welcome !

Vancouver BC
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10. Re: will we be denied entry bc of old criminal offense?

"Our term is Criminal Offence rather than felony but it amounts to the same thing. "

Not quite right. In Canada a misdemeanor is a "Summary Conviction Offence" and a felony is an "Indictable Offence". The key word is "conviction" and either type of offence would be considered a conviction. Deferred adjudication is called a Conditional Discharge in Canada which means if conditions are met it is not a conviction. I am curious what the consulate will say but I suspect they'll simply quote the rules from cic.gc.ca/english/…5312E3.asp