I’m a permanent resident charged with a crime. Will I have to leave Canada?

2. Learn about your rights when you’re charged with a crime

When you’re charged with a crime, you have the right to have a trial in criminal court.

At your trial, the Crown Attorney tries to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you’re guilty. If they can’t, the court finds you not guilty.

You also have the right to have a lawyer at your trial. If you can’t afford to hire a lawyer, you may be able to get help from Legal Aid Ontario.

If you’re found guilty after a trial or after you plead guilty, a judge decides on the . The sentence you can get depends on:

  • the crime you’ve been found guilty of
  • the circumstances of the crime
  • your personal circumstances

It’s important to tell the judge about your personal circumstances including how a sentence could affect your status.

When the judge decides on your sentence, they can consider how being convicted or getting a certain sentence can affect your permanent resident status. They can make decisions that help you avoid being because of a crime.

For example, they can decide:

  • whether to convict you or give you an absolute or  conditional discharge if you’re found guilty, or
  • what sentence to give you if you’re convicted.

If you’re convicted of a serious crime

If you’re convicted of a , Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) can take steps to:

  • remove your permanent resident status, and
  • deport you from Canada.

There may be things you can do to stay in Canada. Get legal help right away.

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