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Toronto Mischief Charges Lawyer

Mischief Charges and admissibility to travel to the United States

How mischief charges can negatively impact travel to the U.S. for Canadians and immigrants

A mischief charge can cause you to be denied entry to the U.S. by Customs if you are not a U.S. citizen. The U.S. often denies travellers entry for both pending criminal charges and past convictions. Even if your charge is eventually dropped or withdrawn (or you are acquitted), the U.S. may also deny you entry if you are dishonest with them about your arrest record or even admit to the crime.

U.S. Customs considers a Canadian criminal mischief charge to be an offence of "moral turpitude".

Mischief, or as the U.S. describes it, "malicious destruction of property", is considered to be a moral turpitude offence as defined by the U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 9. This means those who commit mischief offences in Canada may be determined inadmissible for entry into the United States.

The police, someone else, or someone at the court house tried to tell me it wouldn't be a problem?

Unfortunately, things are not nearly as black and white as what some people (often looking to quickly push you through the system) would have you believe. We encourage you to read the U.S. Customs' policy manual yourself here. You will note the relevant section is found at 40.21(a) N2.3-1(b)(10) under the heading "Crimes Committed Against Property".

If you are charged with mischief, it is important that you speak to us about your case before attempting to cross the border. If you are refused entry you could find yourself with lifelong problems and denials. There are things we can do to mitigate and avoid such risks.

Pending Mischief Charges in CPIC

If you are facing a mischief charge that has not been resolved, it will likely show as “pending” or "awaiting disposition" in the CPIC system. If U.S. Customs check CPIC and see that you have a pending criminal charge at the border, they may deny you entry. They may further photograph you and store a record of your denial in their computer database indefinitely. This could cause you problems if you attempt to enter the U.S. in the future as well.

U.S. travel and visa applications can be affected even if your charge is withdrawn, dropped, you are acquitted at trial, or you are convicted and received a discharge or were later pardoned

U.S. customs will sometimes ask travellers questions like “have you ever been arrested”, or “have you ever been charged or fingerprinted before” when you try to cross or interview for a U.S. visa. If you’ve been charged with mischief the truthful answer to these questions is likely yes (though whether you were legally arrested or not may be arguable).

Some individuals are under the mistaken belief that just because their charge was withdrawn or they received a pardon, that they can answer no to these questions. Just because you weren’t convicted or because you received a discharge or pardon doesn’t change the fact that you were charged and fingerprinted.

If you lie to U.S. customs and they discover that you lied (by checking CPIC or through subsequent investigation) this gives them reason to deny you entry to the U.S. now and in the future. Border guards have the power/discretion to deny you entry if they believe you are being dishonest with them.

It is very easy to be charged with mischief in Toronto. Very little police discretion is used and some people are charged even when there is virtually no damage. Individuals who don't receive legal advice and go through the process without a lawyer often face problems at the U.S. border because they are accused of dishonesty or because they end up with a criminal record as a result of the charge.

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 mischief under and over $5000 in the Toronto area.

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

    call us: 647-228-5969


  call us: 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
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Employment background check advice/services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • Clear goals of getting charges dropped and bail conditions varied without a trial
  • Help with related immigration issues
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Experienced, focused counsel

* Please note:

If you are not a paying client, we cannot answer questions and provide assistance with U.S. travel, immigration, employment background checks, and avoiding a criminal record. This includes those who have already retained other counsel and those whose cases have already been completed.

We only can take calls/emails relating to Ontario, Canada area cases. Please see our FAQ for a listing of the courthouses we service.

Are you a lawyer? If you are defending a mischief under or over $5000 related 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.


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  We provide:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • 99%+ non-conviction success rate
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration issues
  • Employment background check advice/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