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Candian entering into USA with a pending court case?

Saskatoon, Canada
posts: 1
Candian entering into USA with a pending court case?

I'm a Canadian with a pending court case for a theft under 5,000 charge that has a scheduled vacation for the start of December. My vacation will end before I enter my plea in the case. I have not been convicted but I was arrested and charged for the offense.

Does anybody, particularly maybe Canadians, know if that will cause me to be denied entry into the USA? When my passport is scanned will that pending case pop up right away?

28 replies to this topic
London, United...
posts: 1,343
reviews: 5
1. Re: Candian entering into USA with a pending court case?

Whilst this is not the appropriate forum, if it is a pending case and you have not been convicted, you remain innocent. It will not show when your passport is scanned. However, if you are unduly nervous or worried when crossing the border, your behaviour may give the border guards cause to question you.

Toronto, Canada
Destination Expert
for Barcelona
posts: 16,444
reviews: 194
2. Re: Candian entering into USA with a pending court case?

I agree with samd. What's more, those border guards are trained to sense a nervous traveler and question you, they will! Last time my Canadian husband entered through Washington DC airport, the officer asked so many pointed (and downright rude) questions, despite an official letter of invitation from his host, the World Bank.

To me (an American residing in Canada), the same officer simply said,"Welcome home."

Keep in mind that you are innocent and try to stay calm. :-)

Coffs Harbour...
posts: 1,221
reviews: 139
3. Re: Candian entering into USA with a pending court case?

He never said he was innocent !!! lol

London, United...
posts: 1,343
reviews: 5
4. Re: Candian entering into USA with a pending court case?

Douglass - He doesn't have to.

There is, at common law, a presumption of innocence, until proven guilty.

Travelling The World
posts: 11,428
reviews: 17
5. Re: Candian entering into USA with a pending court case?

Presumption is not the same thing as being innocent.

UK
posts: 40,716
reviews: 85
6. Re: Candian entering into USA with a pending court case?

I agree with samd. What's more, those border guards are trained to sense a nervous traveler and question you, they will!

------

They do indeed, there is a whole slew (50+) of signs they look for. There was a very recent study undertaken which looked at all those signs separately and together, and found that taking all things into consideration, they were no better than the flip of a coin at detecting if someone was lying.

Some of the signs , things like tapping your leg whilst waiting in a queue, looking or not looking at the official, and so on, were actually marginally in the reverse, eg the training said if they look away or up it means they are lying but actual studies showed the reverse! (That's a made up example can't recall the actual so-called signs)

London, United...
posts: 15,475
reviews: 23
7. Re: Candian entering into USA with a pending court case?

you can go in. they can refuse you if they chose to though ie have suspicions about something.

re douglas's point, its all semantics. The law says he is innocent until proven guilty. This does not mean he is actually innocent, he may well have done the crime, and may well be about to do the time, but thats still to be played out. He is at the moment, legally innocent.

In the interim, he can in fact enter the US, without this being an immediate show stopper.

Travelling The World
posts: 11,428
reviews: 17
8. Re: Candian entering into USA with a pending court case?

Actually it's not semantics. It's very important. If you did the crime you are guilty, whether or not it is proven in a court of law. That's a simple fact. What legal systems that have descended from British common law say is that you have the right to be presumed innocent until it has been proven (or you admit to it). In systems that descend from the Napoleonic code, you are basically presumed guilty until your innocence is proved.

That is more than just semantics. It has a very real effect on the person charged.

And I am not so sure he can enter the US. His alleged crime would normally not bar him, but I think he needs to declare his arrest. From the US Embassy in Ottawa's website:

"Attempting to gain entry without declaring that you have been arrested could result in a permanent ineligibility and/or detention at a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) enforcement facility while a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer determines your admissibility."

Note the word "arrested", not "convicted". Rather than asking here I think Bernie should be asking the US embassy.

Edited: 5:11 am, November 21, 2013
Ottawa, Canada
posts: 1,277
reviews: 3
9. Re: Candian entering into USA with a pending court case?

Completely agree with DouglasDC8

"""Rather than asking here I think Bernie should be asking the US embassy."""

I would always caution people that it is better to look for official information, requirements, and responses from the official source ,such as US embassy rather than from a unofficial and unsubstantiated web site forum such as this. Dont think border guards will respond to "but trips advisor forum told me....".... lol

London, United...
posts: 15,475
reviews: 23
10. Re: Candian entering into USA with a pending court case?

Can't believe it'll,but I too agree with Douglas re contacting the embassy.,,,:-))

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