What is a DUI?
DUI stands for “driving under the influence,” of either alcohol or drugs, or even both. There are other states that refer to the same thing, which is DWI (driving while intoxicated).
Every case is different, and the facts will be taken into account once the conviction comes down to how this will affect one’s immigration status. If someone is pulled over and they are suspected of driving under the influence, the officer will check for high breath alcohol results. However, many DUI cases actually result in serious accidents, reckless and negligent driving, and more, that may even lead to several other convictions.
Consequences of a Criminal Charge and Conviction with an Immigrant Status
If someone has been arrested for a DUI, criminal charge, or conviction, then it may affect the status of an immigrant in the United States, When someone has been arrested, his or her fingerprints and photographs will be taken and then registered into the national database. Consequently, the alien’s record will be permanent and referenced whenever he or she makes an application for a certain immigration benefit, such as a work authorization, visa renewal, naturalization, green card, and so on.
If an immigrant has a criminal conviction on his or her record, this can result in a denial of reentry into the United States or even a removal or deportation from the United States.
When it comes to immigration consequences, it usually depends on the specific circumstances of one’s crime. For example, if a person has any prior violations may affect him or her differently or maybe it can affect him or her depending on what stage they are at in the immigration process. DUI’s typically result in these three consequences, which are, deportation, denial of admissibility into the United States, and denial of citizenship.
Convictions are very general when it comes to the immigration law. In essence, a conviction is a formal judgment of guilt in court, where a judge and jury has deemed the alien guilty, the alien has entered a plea, or the alien has admitted to a significant amount of facts, which have warranted guilt. As a result, the judge has ordered a type of punishment for the alien.
Because these types of cases involving immigrants and a conviction are so complex, they require an experienced criminal and immigration lawyer to review the case. No matter what the conviction is, it is imperative that you have an attorney on your side that specializes in these types of cases.
Can I Be Removed or Deported Due to a DUI Conviction?
When it comes to someone being convicted of a DUI, there is a possibility of removal or deportation if he or she is also convicted of:
- An aggravated felony, such as rape, murder, and trafficking. However, it can also include several other crimes, such as theft, obstruction of justice, use of false documents, smuggling, forgery, and more.
- A crime of moral turpitude that was committed within five years of admission that resulted in a sentence of one year or more.
- A crime of violence
- Two separate crimes involving moral turpitude.
- An offense relating to a controlled substance.
Could a DUI Prevent Me From Receiving Citizenship?
In order for one to receive citizenship, you must prove that you have had good moral character for at least five years prior to submitting an application. If you have a DUI on your record, that can be difficult, which is why it is best to wait until you have a clean record. You should speak with a criminal immigration attorney Los Angeles for legal advice regarding this issue.
Don’t Hide a Criminal Conviction From Authorities
If you are applying for benefits, never try to hide a criminal conviction from immigration authorities. Keep in mind that authorities always do fingerprints, which will likely reveal a conviction. Additionally, lying to authorities will only get you into more trouble, such as ground for inadmissibility, sign of a bad moral character, denial of benefits, and much more.
If you have any questions regarding these types of issues pertaining to immigration law, it is imperative that you seek help from a criminal immigration attorney as soon as possible. Our team will give you the guidance you need. Feel free to call us any time to speak to a immigration lawyer Los Angeles.