How Long Does DUI Stay on Your Record in Canada

Farid Zamani
Farid Zamani
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Human is to err, and this still holds when it comes to criminal acts. However, a mistake should not create obstacles for the rest of your life, which is why the Canadian government offers convicted persons a second chance through record suspension. This applies to most criminal offence records, including DUI offences.

A criminal record never disappears on its own, even for minor criminal offences. If you do not apply for a record suspension, it can last for life. This article will discuss the different effects of a DUI criminal record, how long it stays on your driving record, and how to remove it from your record.

What is a criminal record?

Before we dig into the details, let’s take a quick look into the general meaning of a criminal record.

When facing criminal allegations, your case goes through the justice system, where the prosecution has to prove their case, and you, as the defence, fight the case presented by the Crown. If the prosecutor proves the case against you beyond a reasonable doubt, you’ll be found guilty of the said offence. When this happens, you’ll face certain penalties, such as fines, incarceration or probation. You’ll also end up with a criminal record.

A criminal record is an entry into the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) database that details your identity, allegations against you, and convictions. It also contains your fingerprints and, if obtained, your DNA.

Criminal records are available to all the police services, several authorized agencies, and the USA law enforcement through the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC).

To learn more about criminal records and how you can remove yours, feel free to contact Zamani Law today.

How Long Does a DUI Conviction Last On Your Driving Record in Canada?

In Canada, driving under the influence is a serious criminal offence with severe penalties, including hefty fines and jail time. DUI charges include driving while under the influence of alcohol, driving while under the influence of other drugs, over 0.8, and other allegations.

The crime of driving under the influence is taken very seriously in Canada, and those charged are mostly convicted and face serious repercussions. This is because driving while not entirely under control is considered a disregard for human life.

When charged with DUI, the offence will reflect on your criminal record. But for how long? This is one of the most common questions that we get from our clients. For DUI offences, the charges stay on your record depending on the sentence you receive.

If convicted for a DUI, the conviction will stay on your record for three years after settling your fines. However, if you receive a licence suspension from a DUI conviction, it will remain on your record for six years. After the said time has passed, you can receive a pardon.

It’s requisite to retain a skilled Toronto lawyer to help you remove the DUI conviction from your driving record.  They’ll make the process easier for you and ensure that the record is removed as soon as possible. Contact Zamani Law to schedule a free consultation.

DUI Charges Effect on Driving Record

A DUI has significant effects on your driving record. First, when arrested for a DUI offence, your licence will automatically be suspended for some time under the Highway Traffic Act.

If convicted for DUI charges, you’ll get a licence suspension – 1 year for the first offence, 3 years for a second offence and lifetime for subsequent offence-, jail term (for second and subsequent offences), and a criminal record.

After a while, you can get your driving privileges back, but the criminal record remains in your driving records. Having a DUI charge against your driving licence will make it hard to get a job. It will also change how the police treat you anytime they pull you over, as they can access your criminal history. As stated earlier on, your DUI charge stays on the driving record for 3 or 6 years.

How DUI Charges Affect Your Auto Insurance

One of the major impacts of a DUI charge is on your insurance policy. Insurance companies, like other businesses, try to avoid risks or increase measures to handle them.

Therefore, when you have a DUI criminal record, your insurance company will list you as an “at-risk driver” and increase your insurance rates by thousands of dollars per year. Some insurance providers may even refuse to renew your policy and drop you as a client.

For most drivers convicted of DUI offences, the increased insurance rates will remain until the charge is removed from their driving record, i.e., for the next three or six years. After that, you can purchase your auto insurance at the standard rate.

Getting a DUI Pardon in Canada

Although the government doesn’t make it easy for convicted persons to get record suspensions, it’s in your best interest to do so if you’re eligible.

Like with other driving offences, a DUI criminal record derails your life. It makes it hard to find a job, housing, loans and more. It also holds you back from enjoying all the rights and privileges of a Canadian citizen.

In Canada, you can only apply for a record suspension after completing your sentence in its entirely. However, there’s a waiting period after fulfilling your sentence before you’re eligible, i.e., 5 years for summary offences and 10 years for indictable crimes.

Due to the lengthy processing time of 6 -18 months, it’s advisable to start your DUI pardon application process at least 12 months before your waiting period is over. This makes it possible to receive a record suspension as soon as you’re eligible.

If your application is successful, your DUI records will be suspended. This means that when someone checks your criminal record (background check), the search will not reveal the DUI charge. Note that a DUI pardon does not mean that your record is wiped clean from the system. It’s just hidden.

The record suspension process may seem like a maze to many due to the legal terminologies, and gathering all the required documents may be daunting. This is why it’s vital to retain a skilled and reputable lawyer to represent you and guide you through the system. By doing so, you’ll ensure a smooth and speedy record suspension process.

Avoid a DUI Criminal Record

This article shows that a DUI criminal record has many and damaging consequences on one’s life. Therefore, it’s better to avoid a record by retaining an experienced DUI lawyer in Toronto. Zamani Law has vast experience defending persons facing impaired driving offences and, therefore, can help protect your rights and future.

Call us at (647) 493-5053 to schedule a free consultation.

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