Coming to America, your goal has always been to stay here and become a citizen. You enjoy spending time with colleagues and friends here, but you know that not being a citizen does mean that you could be deported in some circumstances.
Recently, you went out drinking. After a long night out with friends, you got into your car and started driving home. Unfortunately, you were stopped by the police, and you now face charges for a DUI.
A criminal charge could affect your immigration status
It is true that a criminal charge could affect your immigration status. In a worst-case scenario, it is possible that a DUI could trigger additional charges that may influence your ability to renew your visa and stay in the country.
Drunk driving itself is a relatively minor offense so long as no other negative outcome comes from it other than a traffic stop. In most cases, getting a DUI doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll be deported. However, if you are facing a felony DUI, then you could be deported in some instances.
When can you be deported for a DUI?
It is more likely to be deported for a DUI if:
- You have several past DUI convictions
- You were driving while intoxicated while children were in the vehicle
- You were driving while impaired and caused a fatal collision
- You were impaired when causing a serious injury collision
- You were driving when you had a revoked or suspended license
Even if you aren’t deported for the DUI itself, it’s possible to be deported or removed because of changes to your immigration status. For example, if you have temporary lawful status, you could lose your status and have to leave the country. Even refugees have the potential to be deported and lost the ability to obtain permanent resident status.
Get help if you’re accused of a DUI as an immigrant
If you are accused of a DUI while you’re an immigrant, it’s important to talk to someone who understands the laws and your risk of deportation. If you are at risk, your attorney can help you fight to stay in the country.