*2024 Results: Approx. 99% of Mark Zinck's clients avoided a criminal record (conviction) for charges of theft, fraud, assault, mischief and threats.

Being criminally charged by the police in Canada as a US Citizen or Green Card (PR) holder

What to do if you are from the USA and criminally charged in Canada.

Americans often cross the border into Canada to work, vacation, and visit relatives. If they are accused of a criminal offence on Canadian soil they will be arrested, charged, and either held for bail or released via a criminal Undertaking (Form 10) of Appearance Notice (Form 9).

Apart from being a consideration at the bail stage, if the accused is from the USA (or otherwise foreign) they will receive a court date and be subject to the same penalties as anyone else. The court process upon release remains largely the same.

Americans charged in Canada must be fingerprinted. Missing fingerprints will result in an arrest warrant being issued.

When charges are laid the accused will either be fingerprinted right away at the police station, or they will be given a future date to attend at the police station for fingerprints (Form 9 or 10). If the fingerprint date is missed a warrant will be issued for the accused’s arrest and they may also be charged with failure to comply upon rearrest.

If a warrant is issued for the accused in Canada, they are subject to arrest anywhere within Canada and at the Canadian border by the CBSA who will be able to see the warrant when they swipe your passport. Some local police jurisdictions in the USA and US Customs may detain a US Citizen or Permanent Resident and hold them to determine potential extradition to Canada.

If you have been given a fingerprint date, or have missed your fingerprint date (perhaps after leaving the country), give us a call for assistance. In the case of the latter sometimes we can make arrangements to have you fingerprinted locally and avoid travel. We also can often represent you without you being physically present in court. It is in your best interest to deal with this now.

How does being charged in Canada impact future travel across the border?

How Canadian Customs (CBSA) and Canadian immigration (IRCC) treat Canadian criminal records

Americans with Canadian criminal records for offences with a maximum possible sentence of more than 10 years, or who have been sentenced to more than 6 months in jail will be generally considered inadmissible. For those seeking work, study, or residency permits in Canada, IRCC will also have access to the RCMP CPIC database which will show each conviction. This information will be checked when they process your application.

Common offences that Americans get denied entry into Canada include:
  1. Theft over $5000
  2. Fraud over $5000
  3. Mischief over $5000
  4. Break and Enter
  5. Being unlawfully in a dwelling house
  6. Robbery
  7. Weapons / firearms related
  8. Sexual Interference (Child)
  9. Child Pornography
  10. Child Luring
  11. DUI
  12. Sexual Assault
I need to go back home to the USA, can I leave Canada now with the charges still pending?

If you have already been fingerprinted, and your release conditions do not include clauses that require you to remain in Canada or Ontario, you generally can leave so long as you have hired a lawyer to appear in court on your behalf. Currently in 2024 with the implementation of the virtual remote court system, most appearances requiring the presence of the accused can be conducted via Zoom (with the permission of the judge).

If you have not yet been fingerprinted, you will have to return back to Canada to attend the fingerprinting date on your Form 9 Appearance Notice or Form 10 Undertaking. Sometimes arrangements can be made with the police to be fingerprinted early or to be fingerprinted in your home jurisdiction. These exceptions are only made on a case by case basis, so please give us a call now to discuss if this is an option for you if you have been given a fingerprinting date.

I am a US Green Card holder (PR) or work on a TN visa, how will being criminally charged in Canada impact my immigration to the United States?

It is important to note that a Canadian criminal conviction may impact your immigration status in the USA if you are not a US Citizen. The US INI states that an alien who is convicted of a crime of moral turpitude is generally inadmissible if the maximum possible sentence is more than one year in jail. Most indictable and hybrid (Crown elect) offences could potentially meet this definition, including simple assault, theft under $5000, and mischief under $5000.

Canadians who hold US Green Cards or work in the US on TN visas could potentially see their immigration status revoked upon receiving a conviction in Canada. Criminal Code charges not only put their permission to work and live in the US in jeopardy, they may render them unable to even cross the border to collect their stuff without a US travel waiver.

If you or someone you know needs help give us a call now at 647-228-5969 for a free no obligation case assessment.

   Call us today.

You don't have to jeopardize your future or waste thousands of dollars on excessive legal fees. We provide effective and affordable lawyer representation for those charged with criminal offences throughout Ontario, Canada.

Have a skilled criminal lawyer who focuses on criminal law protect you and your future from the stigma and consequences of a criminal record and conviction.

    call now: 647-228-5969


Your case will be defended by a fully licensed Practicing Lawyer of the Law Society of Ontario. For more information about our lawyer, click here.

We provide our clients with:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • 99%+ non-conviction success rate
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration/IRCC issues
  • Employment background check advice/services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • Clear goals of getting charges dropped and bail conditions varied without a trial
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Experienced, focused counsel

* Please note:

If you are not a paying client, we cannot answer questions and provide assistance about avoiding jail and/or a criminal record, employment background checks, IRCC/immigration applications and status, or travel to the U.S. in the future. This includes those who have already retained other counsel and those whose cases have already been completed.

We only can respond to calls and emails relating to current Ontario criminal cases. Please see our FAQ for a listing of the courthouses we service.

Are you a lawyer? If you are defending a criminal case and are looking for expert advice regarding possible defences, case strategies, and information release management call us at: 647-228-5969.

Please note: We do not accept legal aid certificate cases. All clients are handled on a private retainer only.

*2024 Results: the percentage of 99% of clients avoiding a criminal record (conviction) stated on this page is based solely on Lawyer Mark Zinck's personal representation of approximately 2000 criminal defence case clients as of the year 2024. Past results are not necessarily an indication of future results.


Your questions and concerns are extremely important to me.


Error: please enable JavaScript and reload this page before using the form.

   Criminal Information:

   We provide:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • 99%+ non-conviction success rate
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration/IRCC issues
  • Employment background check advice and services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • A clear goal of getting the charges dropped without a trial
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Timely resolutions
  • Lawyer/client privilege
  • Experienced, focused counsel