Back in the day before that felony conviction interrupted life, remember living along the West coast? It was a better time, being able to jump in the car and drive up the Pacific Coast Highway.
Recall the summer when going to visit friends in Alaska and driving up the coast, going through Canada, and all the way to Alaska.
That trip was awesome! Stopping to camp along the way was fun!
How about doing that again, now that prison time is over?
This blog post will cover the question of whether a felon can drive through Canada to Alaska.
- Traveling after a Felony
- Crossing into Canada
- Making That Trip Work
- Supporting Felons Driving to Alaska
Traveling After a Felony
Felons who have been released from prison and are on probation are restricted from traveling anywhere outside of the federal district in which they live without permission from their probation officer.
While receiving that permission is possible, they typically can’t go far, and certainly not a driving trip up the West coast.
Once they have completed those terms, they may travel freely in the U.S.
- So, can they drive to Alaska? It’s a state.
Crossing into Canada
Back in the day, crossing the border into Canada was easy. Of course, there was a stop at the border before going in, but it wasn’t a big deal.
While there may be some restrictions, they couldn’t be that bad, could they?
According to Canadian law, any U.S. citizen or U.S. resident who has a criminal record may be denied entry into Canada because of criminal inadmissibility. This is true even if felons are just passing through the country.
Why is that? The Canadian government is invested in protecting its citizens. This has become even more critical to Canada since 9/11 when the world changed due to terrorism.
Since that time the United States and Canada share much information for security reasons. Since 2010, the FBI criminal database has been linked to the Canadian Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) crime database.
This allows for a quick check on anyone attempting to cross the Canadian border to determine if that person has a U.S. criminal record. If so, the only way to legally enter the country is to obtain permission from the Canadian government.
This is true even if the felony conviction occurred as much as ten to twenty years ago. Time alone will not make felons rehabilitated in the Canadian government’s eyes.
Applying for admission to enter Canada, is called obtaining a Temporary Resident Permit (TRP). This will allow entry to Canada for as long as three years.
But felons must have a legitimate reason for wanting to enter the country. Traveling through Canada would probably be considered a legitimate reason. A TRP can be applied for at the border upon time of entry, but it will usually only be granted then in case of an emergency.
Otherwise, application must be made in advance. It typically takes two to three months to obtain a TRP.
For felons whose conviction was less than ten years ago, a TRP is the only way to legally cross the Canadian border.
If their conviction was more than ten years in the past, there is another method to obtaining permission to enter the country.
This method is called Criminal Rehabilitation, which applies to those who have been convicted of at least one serious felony. This is a felony in which the maximum sentence would have been at least ten years in Canada.
Typically, according to Canadian law, offenses considered serious are those involving bodily injury or a weapon.
It is only available to felons who have finished their sentence, including probation and paying all fines, at least ten years previously. It typically takes a year to attain this status.
An individual who has only one non-serious felony, an offense which would receive less than a ten-year sentence under Canadian law, is “deemed rehabilitated” if more than ten years have passed since the completion of their sentence.
Felons who can prove they have been rehabilitated either because of a deferral or conditional discharge or because the felony has been expunged or pardoned do not have to apply for Criminal Rehabilitation.
Even having a felony arrest on their record can prevent legal entry. Documents must be obtained proving that there was no conviction.
Criminal Rehabilitation will permanently remove the inadmissible status from felons’ records. Retaining an attorney is highly recommended to assist in completing this process.
Canadian government officials want to be assured that felons have been reformed.
Applicants will be asked to provide all addresses at which they have resided as adults. Full employment history since age 18 with no gaps in employment time is also mandatory.
Among the documents needed are a police certificate or letter from a police authority in every state in which they resided for more than six consecutive months as an adult.
A National FBI certificate as a sign of an FBI record check is also necessary. The reason is to make the Canadian government aware of every crime, even misdemeanors, committed by felons.
Making That Trip Work
Felons wanting to make that drive up the Pacific Coast Highway, through Canada, and on to Alaska, can do that.
They cannot just pack their bags, jump into their car, and take off at a moment’s notice.
This trip, even though Alaska is one of the U.S. states, and they may have friends or family in Alaska, remains possible. Felons must plan the trip well in advance of the time when they wish to go.
That is another consequence of their conviction. Spur-of-the-moment decisions are not a good idea.
This type of thinking can get them into trouble again. Of course, this type of thinking may have been a large part of what got them into legal difficulties in the first place.
If they engage in this type of thinking and acting in the future, they will set themselves up to be one of those 2/3 who return to prison within two years of their release.
Take the time to follow the regulations set up for traveling into and through Canada.
Supporting Felons Driving To Alaska
Families and friends of felons wanting to make that trip through Canada on the way to Alaska should encourage their loved one to take the time to plan that trip.
They enjoyed that drive up the Pacific Coast Highway before their legal problems began. That trip could be an inspiration to your loved one.
Encourage them and be there for them as they go through the legal requirements set by Canada to cross into the country.
Setting this goal and following through with it can make a huge impact on living the honest life, taking time to slow down and do things the right way. It could make all the difference.
So what do you think about this blog post about how a felon can drive through Canada on the road to Alaska? Have you or someone you know been through this experience? What was that like and were they successful? Please tell us in the comments below.