Can You Be Denied Entry to the US for Petty Offences?

By Michael Niren January 23, 2012 (Updated May 18, 2020) 1 min. read

Yes. Entering the US requires that you meet all of the US Entry requirements and if you do not, you can be denied. One of the main offences that can catch people by surprise is minor drug offences. This has become more of an issue as other nations have begun legalizing the use of marijuana. Even if you have used the drug legally in Canada, for example, you could still be denied entry at the US border. This is true even if the drug use occurred years ago. Additionally, if you were convicted for a drug related offence in the past that would no longer be considered illegal, you can still be denied entry.

Example: Canadian man denied entry to the United States

While Canadian laws against marijuana possession have become quite relaxed over the past few decades, imagine if it was 1967 and police discovered traces of marijuana in a pipe – in your home. You would be convicted of drug offences because of the laws of the time

That was 44 years ago and not reflective in any way of society today, but recently a man in this situation found himself denied entry to the United States because of that very conviction

If you have never traveled to the United States before and thought you’d have no problems crossing the border – think again. Even a seemingly old, tiny conviction such as the one we just described can result in you being denied entry to the United States.

Although today being denied entry to the United States is reserved for those convicted of crimes of “moral turpitude” (such as controlled substance trafficking and serious criminal activity), the most petty of offenses can still result in trouble at the border. But you do have options in order to get your case considered.

If you have been denied entry to the United States because of your past, give us a call or email. We can explain these options to you. Contact us at the form to the right!