“Can someone who is not a citizen be deported for a DWI?” is one of the most often asked questions. The answer differs depending on who you ask. Immigration status is important if you are charged with a DWI.
When you’re pulled over and arrested for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in Texas, you’re likely to have a lot of questions. You may wonder if you can defeat the charges. You’re undoubtedly also concerned about the ramifications of a possible conviction. You could face jail time, fines, the loss of your driver’s license, and other consequences. If you are not a U.S. citizen, though, you may be more concerned about the immigration repercussions of a DWI.
Regardless of your immigration status, you must consider how a drunk driving conviction may affect your ability to remain in the country. You should also consult with a qualified Dallas DWI attorney who can advise you on the immigration implications of your case.
Call 214 Release: Hindieh Law, PLLC at 214-Release (214.960.1458) for a free confidential consultation with a DUI/DWI attorney that understands the immigration repercussions of a DWI and how to defend it you.
Is it Possible to Be Deported for a DWI?
A person who is legally present in the United States has never been deported for a DWI alone. This may no longer be the case under the present administration and legal atmosphere. Former Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS), John Kelly, has said that a single DWI might result in deportation proceedings. You may also face deportation if you are undocumented or if your immigration status is in doubt.
Immigration laws have been changed or enforced differently in recent years. For DWI convictions, newer laws allow visas and DACA status to be withdrawn. If your visa is revoked and you do not leave the country, you could face deportation.
A DWI could have an influence on your immigration status, whether you are on a visa, hold a green card (which makes you a permanent resident of the United States), or are undocumented. It may prevent you from renewing your visa, having it revoked, or becoming a permanent resident or citizen. DHS may seek your deportation based on a DWI conviction in specific circumstances.
Call The Law Offices of Hindieh Law right away once if you have a DWI and immigration issues. Attorney Ray Hindieh understands how critical it is for you to avoid a criminal record and remain in the United States.
Is It Possible for a Permanent Resident To Be Deported for a Dwi?
Permanent citizens are rarely deported for a DWI. However, the immigration repercussions of a DWI can be serious for both those who have a green card and those who are here illegally.
You are always at risk of deportation as a non-citizen. If you’re guilty of a “deportable crime,” you’re in the most danger. The following are examples of such offenses:
- Crimes of moral turpitude
- Serious felonies
- Theft, forgery, or violent offenses that carry a minimum sentence of one year in jail
- Trafficking in firearms, illegal narcotics, people, or dangerous devices
- Losses of $10,000 or more due to fraud, tax evasion, or money laundering
- Sexual abuse of a minor, rape in the context of child pornography, murder, or kidnapping
In most cases, a DWI does not result in deportation for someone who is legally present in the United States. A conviction for driving while intoxicated, on the other hand, can make it more difficult to become a citizen. You must be able to demonstrate good moral character for the five years preceding to your application in order to become a citizen. A DWI at that moment further complicates the situation.
What Impact Does a DWI Have on a Green Card Application?
A DWI conviction can affect your ability to become a permanent resident, although that is not always the case. A DWI does not automatically exclude you from obtaining a green card. However, it will show up during the application process and could lead to your application being denied.
Alcoholism and alcohol-use disorders are classified as physical and/or mental diseases by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If there is proof that you demonstrate hazardous behavior linked with that disorder that has or is likely to pose a threat to the safety and property of others, you may be ineligible for a green card. A medical examination is required as part of the green card application process. If alcoholism is discovered, the DWI may be used to demonstrate that you have engaged in other dangerous conduct. You may be considered inadmissible due to medical reasons.
If a DWI becomes a crime of moral turpitude, you may be refused permanent residency. In most cases, a single DWI conviction does not constitute a felony involving such behavior. However, if you are charged with a DWI for the second or subsequent time, or if you are charged with a DWI while driving with a suspended or revoked license, you may be charged with a crime of moral turpitude.
Is it Possible for an Illegal Immigrant to be Deported for a DWI?
Yes, you could be deported for a DWI if you are an undocumented immigrant living in the United States and are arrested for a DWI. Your position as an undocumented immigrant can lead to deportation at any time. A criminal arrest, charges, or conviction may alert U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to your presence in the US and lead to their discovery of your residence.
When it comes to bringing deportation proceedings against unauthorized immigrants, federal authorities have certain leeway. Historically, they have given priority to more serious offenses or repeat offenders. The more serious the conviction, the more likely deportation proceedings will be initiated. Minor infractions are less likely to prompt federal authorities to take action against an unauthorized immigrant. ICE, on the other hand, has been quick to initiate deportation proceedings against all unauthorized immigrants.
Also keep in mind that Dallas County and surrounding Counties all work closely with ICE and honors all detainer requests. Local law enforcement officers will enquire about your immigration status if you are arrested for a DWI in Harris County. If you are undocumented, ICE will almost certainly be notified, and you could be taken into custody. You or a family member should contact Hindieh Law as soon as possible because you still have a right to a counsel.
Is it Possible for a DACA Recipient to be Deported for a DWI?
The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program provides legal status to many young immigrants in the United States who were brought here as infants (DACA). This allows many young adults to legally work and attend school in the United States. A DWI conviction, on the other hand, might result in the revocation of a person’s DACA status, which could lead to deportation procedures.
Are you concerned about the effects of a DWI on your immigration status?
If you are a non-citizen facing DWI charges in Texas, you should speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney right once. We understand the immigration implications of DWI arrests, charges, and convictions at Hindieh Law. We will fiercely defend you against these allegations and strive to ensure that you are not convicted.