Is My Life Over After a DUI?
We all know someone who has gotten caught driving under the influence after a drink or a few too many. Though we might not think of these people as “criminals”, impaired driving in Ontario can result in a criminal conviction regardless of how someone is punished. Even if the end result is a mandatory fine, a criminal conviction can have consequences on a person’s life long after that fine is paid.
For example, a DUI conviction under section 253 of the Criminal Code can impede job prospects, or affect entry to the USA, by appearing in criminal record and vulnerable sector checks.
There is only one way to remove the conviction from a criminal record: a “record suspension” (formerly known as a “pardon”). Obtaining a record suspension is a lengthy process. If you have a DUI conviction, you must wait 5-10 years before you can even apply for one to the Parole Board of Canada. As part of the application, you must demonstrate that you have been “of good conduct” and that you have not been convicted of any further offences. The good news is that once it is granted, the conviction will no longer appear on your criminal record or in a vulnerable sector check, and you will no longer be required to disclose the conviction on Canadian employment forms.
An impaired driving conviction is a serious matter that can affect your life and reputation for many years. If you have been charged with impaired driving, obtain legal advice and ask your lawyer to explain all of your options.