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 deportation.
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!