Basically, I was arrested for a DUI while passing through GA. I tried to fight it by going through to pre-trial and ended settling on a plea to reckless driving. I was able to plead Nolo to the charge of reckless driving with no penalty except fine and none reporting probation after an Ach. Eval. However, my counsel said nothing of the possibility of the First Offender rule (which I would have fell under at the time and was wondering if this would have been the better outcome) for the record concealment after punishment. Can I still try to get this? I tried to pull my criminal record and it only showed the arrest and said not of the plea. Before this incident I had a number of opportunities that are now in jeopardy if not lost due to this. I'd hate for this to cost me the rest of my life.
You probably did not pull your official criminal history if you did not see a conviction. It sounds like you used some third party database. Obviously their data is incorrect. There is nothing you or your lawyer can do to predict how third parties are going to keep or update data.
It sounds like your lawyer did a good job. You were convicted of a traffic violation not a DUI.
Canada is difficult for entry with a DUI. A traffic violation should not be a problem.
DUI is not eligible for first offender act. Prosecutors and Judges will often object to first offender treatment on a reckless reduction. Your lawyer may have had that conversation prior to speaking with you.
Its pretty rare that a traffic ticket would ruin much opportunity in one's life. Its a really minor thing. Are you a pilot, boat captain or train conductor?
You have a criminal record in Georgia. Most companies will not do a national background check because they are very expensive, you have to be fingerprinted, and only the FBI can do them. That being said, potential employers would have to know to look in Georgia for any arrests. Since you don't live here this probably won't happen. You cannot do a First Offender Plea, or any type of deferred adjudication, on a DUI in Georgia. That is expressly prohibited by law. It can be tricky getting into Canada even with a reduced charge of Reckless Driving. However, I have often written letters for my clients to carry with them when they travel to Canada explaining that the charge was reduced, and that they were not convicted of the DUI. They have never had a problem getting in with one of these letters.
It sounds as if you've done everything that you could do to get this behind you. As for entry into Canada, it not entirely clear. You may consider consulting with an attorney who focuses on this issue. They tend to be based in states that border Canada. Use avvo to find a few and give them a call. Best of luck.
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