There is nothing like getting away for a week or two from the hustle and bustle that is typical of a forty-hour workweek. With so many beautiful and accessible places worldwide, it may be a challenge to narrow down the options to just one. Whittling down the choices may include a list of personal preferences or logistical factors. One consideration that may get overlooked is your criminal record.
It is not advised to go to Cancún if you have had a DUI or felony in the last ten years. Mexico has a strict stance against these offenses. Under Article 37 of Mexico’s General Law of Population, “violations of domestic laws in a person’s home country are grounds to deny that person entry into Mexico.”
Whether the DUI is a misdemeanor or felony, it is treated the same under Mexican law. Ten years is a long time to do penance before being allowed entry; however, there may be options that don’t involve you entirely changing your plans.
Is it Possible to Go to Cancún with a DUI or Felony?
You have your heart set on going to fun and luxurious Cancún. You may have even started planning your vacation, including paying for airline tickets or hotel accommodations. You go onto forums to learn about others’ experiences and discover that your recent DUI or felony is grounds for being denied entry. Now, you’re wondering if the trip can be saved.
It is possible to go to Cancún with a DUI or felony. However, not all options for saving your excursion are risk-free. Here are a few ways you might be able to gain entry to Mexico, despite having a criminal record:
- Take the Risk
- Get Your Record Expunged
- Postpone the Trip
Let’s see how each of these options can play out to your benefit and save your trip.
Take the Risk
If you go onto the internet and search the topic of entry to Mexico with a DUI or felony, you will find forums of people who have been in this exact situation. They have a vacation booked, which means time and money to lose should they not be permitted to enter the country. Luckily, there are many success stories of individuals who made a gamble, went to the airport, and made it past the border patrol.
Those with success stories will tell you that it is all dependent on the border patrol agent you get and if they feel like enforcing that law. So, if you’re feeling lucky or confident, you can move forward with your plans regardless of your record and hope it works out in your favor.
Get Your Record Expunged
If taking a risk is not for you and you would like a safer option, then getting your record expunged would be the way to go. Each state has its procedure for how to go about expunging your record, so you will want to check your local government website to see a step-by-step.
Sealing or expunging your record may include hiring a lawyer to represent you in this process. Just be aware that it can take anywhere from 8 to 12 weeks and cost from $400 to upwards of $4,000. Keep in mind that at least eight states do not allow you to erase any kind of criminal record— Massachusetts, Idaho, Texas, Alabama, Florida, Alaska, Hawaii, and Virginia.
Postpone Your Trip
Postponing your trip may not be an option if your DUI or felony was two years ago, but it can be a consideration if you are at the tail end of DUI purgatory and you’re only a few months or even a couple of years away from the ten-year mark. Once you pass the ten-year mark, your DUI or felony no longer falls into the timeframe that Mexican border patrol laws abide by, and entry should not be an issue.
Nowadays, airlines and accommodations will work with you in shifting around your travel dates or giving a refund or credit for the money already spent if you would need to cancel.
Overall, you may want to check the laws of any country you want to travel to if you have any kind of criminal record before making any plans. If you’re too far down the road and you already booked travel and accommodations, all may not be lost. Know your options, decide accordingly, and hope that you will be lying out on a beach somewhere with the sounds of the waves crashing on the shore.