Most people charged with a DUI don’t realize the full extent of the potential penalties associated with a conviction. A DUI can bring a mountain of penalties and real-life consequences that negatively affect several parts of your everyday life, including housing, employment, professional licensing, college applications and athletics, and even custody of your children. When it comes to getting a passport after a DUI, most people might not question their eligibility; however, you’re not guaranteed a passport renewal or access to other countries.
Will my DUI prevent me from renewing a U.S. passport?
Generally, having a DUI charge or conviction will not prevent you from renewing your U.S. passport or applying for one if you don’t already have one. However, you may encounter travel restrictions. If you are perceived as a flight risk, you may be denied the ability to leave the country. If you’re on probation or parole, you may be ordered to stay within state or county lines as part of those terms.
Additionally, your charge or conviction will not trigger a passport revocation; but, if you’re released without bail after a DUI charge or are serving probation, you may be banned from leaving the country. Other countries may also deny you entry because of your DUI, such as Canada and Mexico, which do not allow U.S. citizens with DUI convictions into their countries.
How can I travel to Canada with a DUI from the U.S.?
Although these countries ban U.S. citizens with a DUI conviction, it’s not impossible to travel to these countries post-DUI. There are extra measures you may take that could allow you to travel abroad. In Canada, you can apply for a temporary residential permit. (TRP). With this permit, you can get into Canada regardless of any criminal convictions you’ve received in the U.S. This might be a challenging process, however, since the government would need to decide whether the benefits of allowing you into the country with a DUI outweigh the risks.
Can I get into Mexico with a DUI conviction?
If you want to go to Mexico, but you have a DUI conviction, it’s difficult to know whether or not the border patrol officer will allow you to enter the country. They can deny you entry if you have a DUI from the past ten years on your record; however, the border patrol officer may use his or her discretion to determine whether you may visit their country. Generally, border patrol officers are concerned with offenders with more serious records, so a DUI that does not result in an injury or death may be acceptable. Still, there is no guarantee that you will be allowed into the country with a DUI, even if no harm was done.
Other Factors that May Prevent You from Obtaining a U.S. Passport
No one is guaranteed a valid U.S. passport. Some factors that may prevent you from obtaining a new passport include:
- You have court orders against you that prevent you from getting a passport
- Court declarations that prevent you from getting a passport
- You owe money to the U.S. Department of State because you defaulted on an assistance loan
- You owe more than $2,500
- Your passport was previously revoked
- You received an IRS taxpayer notice about a large unpaid and overdue tax debt
If you believe that any of the above may keep you from obtaining a passport, you should seek legal counsel immediately to address these issues before applying for one. An attorney may be able to negotiate with the court to dismiss any orders that prevent you from renewing your passport. Additionally, a tax lawyer could help you negotiate your debt to the IRS. No matter what your concern, West Palm Beach criminal lawyers can guide you in the right direction.
Fighting DUI Charges in West Palm Beach? Choose Gabriel Law Team
At The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel, attorney Brian Gabriel has practiced criminal law for more than 30 years. He devotes a significant portion of his practice to DUI defense and can educate you on everything you need to know about a possible conviction. When you work with Brian Gabriel, you can rest assured that everything will be done to challenge your DUI charge. There are many potential defenses that may work for your unique situation that may lead to a dismissal or reduction of your charges; however, you should act fast to secure representation after your arrest.
Call Brian Gabriel at 561-622-5575 or complete our contact form for a free consultation.