US Olympian Swimming Athlete, Michael Phelps, is in Hot Water after Recent DUI Arrest

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Phelps could be denied entry into Canada without obtaining a Canadian Entry Waiver. Pardon Services Canada now provides this service for US citizens looking to travel across the Canadian border with criminal records.

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Another athlete making headlines for the wrong reasons is US Olympian swimmer, Michael Phelps. After being arrested by Maryland Transportation Authority on Tuesday, September 30, 2014, Phelps was charged with a DUI, excessive speeding and crossing double lines on a Baltimore highway. USA Swimming released a statement soon after saying, "The news regarding Michael Phelps and his actions are disappointing and unquestionably serious. We expect our athletes to conduct themselves responsibly in and out of the pool." (CNN, September 30, 2014)

Even though Phelps had unprecedented positive performances at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games, his newest charge is not his first run-in with the law. In 2004, Phelps pleaded guilty to driving under the influence and received an 18 month probation. The Olympic swimmer took to twitter to express his regret over his latest arrest: “I know these words may not mean much right now but I am deeply sorry to everyone I have let down.” (CNN, September 30, 2014). If Phelps is found guilty of his recent misdemeanor, he can be denied from entering Canada, whether it be for a leisure trip or to compete in future sporting events.

Pardon Services Canada now offers assistance to athletes with a past criminal record such as Phelps, along with other US citizens who want to travel from the United States to Canada. Many view a DUI as a minor infraction, however in Canada, it is viewed as a serious offence. Even famous athletes are not given exceptions when wanting to cross the border with a criminal record. A Temporary Resident Permit (TRP) must be obtained for those looking to cross the border into Canada. Courtney Lawrence, Record Suspension and Waiver Specialist from Pardon Services Canada, advises applying for a TRP well before planning a trip to Canada, as the application process can take up to a few months to complete.

About Pardon Services Canada

An industry leader in helping Canadians overcome the obstacles of a criminal record. Since 1989, Pardon Services Canada has successfully assisted over 100,000 Canadians exercise their lawful rights under the Criminal Records Act of Canada, and the Immigration and Nationality Act of the United States. Services include US Entry Waivers, Record Suspensions (formerly called pardons), and fingerprinting. Offices are located in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Edmonton, Ottawa and Montreal. Call toll free 1-866-972-7366 or visit the website Pardon Services Canada

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Anna Austin
Pardon Services Canada
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