Visitor: I am inquiring whether I have travel restrictions related to a withdrawn assault charge this year.
I was arrested and charged for assault with a weapon causing bodily harm in March 2020. Although I had a strong self defense case, I chose to pay restitution (negotiated between my lawyer and the lawyer of my ‘victim’) and have the Crown withdraw the charges. All charges were withdrawn October 30.
My question is regarding travel plans to Mexico in February. I understand I will appear in a criminal record check by US Customs Agents as my fingerprints and photograph are on CPIC and they will see my charges including that they were withdrawn. Should I avoid a layover in the US or will I have the same issues flying directly into Mexico? Additionally, is it recommended I wait for the record destruction application to be completed before attempting to enter the US or Mexico?
Pardons Canada: A withdrawn assault charge is a non-conviction and way better than the alternative of a full conviction which carries a criminal record and probation. However, since you were fingerprinted by the police you are right that it can be seen on CPIC and therefore can get in the way of travel to the US. If you are traveling to Mexico and going through the US as a layover you are still considered to be entering the US and can get refused entry. If you get refused entry at the US border then you will require a US Entry Waiver to return to the US. Traveling direct to Mexico from Canada with your withdrawn assault charge should not interfere with your travel plans as we have not heard of someone being turned away from Mexico for an offence like yours that has been withdrawn.