DUI/DWI and Your Immigration Process
Any driver convicted of a DWI or DUI faces harsh penalties such as fines, license suspensions and even jail time. But for people currently seeking a green card or to become a natural citizen of the United States, a DWI or DUI could derail your immigration process.
How Does A DUI/DWI Affect My Immigration Process?
Any criminal conviction can affect your status as a legal immigrant in the United States, and a DWI or DUI is no exception. For example, if you’re convicted of a DUI as an immigrant, you may face deportation, denial of admissibility into the country, or denial of citizenship.
When the police arrest anyone, the person is fingerprinted and has their photo taken. All of that information is entered into a national database, and a permanent record is created of the criminal activity.
As a person seeking an immigration status change, such as work authorization, visa renewal, asylum, adjustment of status, naturalization, or admission into the U.S., that criminal record will be referenced. This record can cause an immigration judge to deny your request.
DUI’s have different levels of penalties, depending on if this is someone’s first offense if a minor was in the car, and even the driver’s blood alcohol level, all of which can help or hurt an immigrant’s case.
Why Does A DUI/DWI Affect My Immigration Status?
Under the law, a DUI or DWI affects someone’s immigration status because it can be classified as a crime of violence or a crime of moral turpitude.
A DUI can be considered a crime of violence if driving while intoxicated causes bodily injury to another party. If a child was in the car while the driver was intoxicated, this would be considered a crime of moral turpitude.
Both of these types of crime fall under the expansive federal definition of convictions when considering someone’s immigration request.
What Should I Do If I’ve Been Convicted Of A DWI And Am Applying For An Immigration Status Change?
If you are an immigrant and have been charged or convicted of a DWI, call Fay, Grafton, & Nunez’s legal team right away.
We offer immigration consultations for $200 to discuss your case, your chances of beating a conviction, and being granted your immigration status change.
An experienced immigration attorney can review your particular case and state code to see how they can help you show an immigration court you deserve your change in status.
If you’ve been charged with a DWI or DUI, our lawyers can help fight the charge based on evidence from the scene and eyewitness testimony. However, suppose the charge can’t be dropped. In that case, your best option is to reach an agreement with the prosecutor bypassing the court, signing a statement admitting guilt that is not placed in the court file, therefore, protecting you during immigration proceedings.