What are the Special Consequences of a DUI Charge for Immigrants?
In Tennessee, driving under the influence of an intoxicant is a crime referred to as a “DUI.” A DUI in Tennessee carries significant penalties for citizens of the United States, but for foreign nationals who are in the process of applying for citizenship, a DUI can make the process far more complicated. Depending on the circumstances leading up to their arrest, a DUI might even get them deported. A DUI criminal charge and conviction will have far-reaching consequences for an immigrant.
Can an immigrant be deported after getting convicted of DUI?
Since every case is different, you will have to consult with your immigration attorney with regard to your specific case and the ramifications. However, if you are convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude (CMIT) under the Immigration and Nationality Act § 237, it can be considered grounds for deportability in U.S. immigration law. If you were involved in a DUI that did not involve any extenuating circumstances such as having a minor in the vehicle, or causing an accident with injuries or fatalities, then your consequences might be different from a crime with more aggravating circumstances.
Once you have a DUI arrest record, this criminal conviction will have a negative impact on your green card application process. Every time you apply for any kind of immigration service your criminal record will be accessed, and it will make your immigration process far more complicated than it needs to be.
Will being convicted of DUI keep me from receiving U.S. citizenship?
In order to gain citizenship to the U.S. you will be required to prove that you have demonstrated good moral character in submitting your application. Having a DUI conviction may hinder that process. Depending on your circumstances, you may have to wait and build up a clean record of contributing to your community, keeping your job and caring for your family before you attempt to apply for citizenship. Your DUI conviction will be part of your permanent record, but the hope is that you can show yourself to be a model citizen so that you can show the judge that the DUI was merely an aberration.
Your immigration attorney will be able to advise you about all of the consequences of a DUI conviction as they apply to your situation.
If you are an immigrant charged with a DUI, you may want to seek legal help fast. At the Law Office of Parry A. Craft, PLLC, you will reap the benefits of our experience with criminal defense and immigration law. You are welcome to contact us to schedule an appointment with a dedicated Nashville immigration criminal DUI attorney.
Perry A. Craft has dedicated his life to helping people in need. He has tried, settled, or resolved numerous civil and criminal cases in State and Federal courts, and has represented teachers and administrators before school boards, administrative judges, and the state Board of Education. Learn more about Attorney Craft.