When you live in the United States as an immigrant, you’re required
to adhere to our laws or face the possibility of being sent back to your
home country. This general principal applies to both documented and undocumented
individuals. However, not all convictions warrant being deported and this
leads to a lot of confusion and panic when an immigrant of any kind finds
themselves facing charges, including DUI charges. On this blog, we’ll
clarify some of the confusion regarding how DUI penalties could be influenced
by your immigration status.
Crimes of Moral Turpitude
The United States Citizenship and Naturalization Services determines whether
or not you’ll be deported for a DUI offense based on whether or
not your conviction is considered a crime of “moral turpitude.”
Essentially, crimes that are violent or in some way considered to be morally
reprehensible by the general public conscience are considered to be CMTs.
There’s good news: a DUI conviction is
not generally considered to be a crime of moral turpitude, usually because
they are simply mistakes or lapses in judgement. However, aggravating
factors, such as having an extremely high blood alcohol content or causing
the death of another individual, could escalate your charges to felony
level, which could make you eligible for deportation.
Drug Related DUI
Immigrants of all types, including those who have been granted permanent
residency, could also face expulsion from the United States if they are
found guilty of two or more crimes of moral turpitude, a drug crime, or
an aggravated felony. Being found guilty of driving under the influence
of illegal drugs is considered a drug crime, which means you could face
Having a DUI on your record does have other consequences beyond deportation,
however. If you’re looking to become a U.S. citizen, you’ll
have to go through a long and extensive process, including a naturalization
interview. Having a DUI on your record could lead to your being labeled
as having a bad moral character, which means your citizenship could be
denied. While you may be able to remain in the country depending on your
visa, you may have to eventually return to your home country.
Don’t wait; reach out to a skilled Mesa DUI lawyer if you’re
facing DUI Charges, no matter your immigration status.
Contact Naegle & Crider Criminal Defense Attorneys today at (480) 418-0776 to request a case evaluation!