Unless you are considered a citizen, being arrested and convicted of driving under the influence could have a serious impact on whether or not you are allowed to remain in the country. Even if you have already obtained a green card, you could face deportation. To help you understand the seriousness of the situation and what you can possibly do to remain in the country, here is what you need to know.
Will You Be Deported?
When you were granted a visa or green card to enter the country, you agreed to follow certain conditions. One of those was to obey the laws of the land. By being arrested and convicted of a DUI, you are breaking that rule.
Whether or not you will be deported depends largely on the judge overhearing your case, the severity of the crime, if the DUI was the only crime committed, and whether or not there was a controlled substance involved.
What Happens After the Arrest?
Since you are in the country on a visa or green card, your case will be referred to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS. The agency will review the charges against you and make a determination as to whether or not your case needs to be heard in front of a judge. If so, the agency will start removal proceedings against you.
At the removal hearing, you will have a chance to present the case for why you should not be deported. The best scenario is that the judge sides with you and you are allowed to stay. However, there is a possibility that the judge could agree with the USCIS and order that you be deported. If this occurs, the judge could rule that you cannot reenter the country for a certain number of years.
What Can You Do?
After being arrested for DUI, you need to take action. Work with your DUI attorney to obtain a copy of the blood alcohol content test. If there is a question about how the test was administered or the results, your attorney could possibly have the test considered inadmissible by the court.
Your attorney could also work out a plea agreement with the prosecutor. If the charge can be reduced to a misdemeanor charge, such as reckless driving, there is a possibility that it will not have an impact on your immigration status.
It is imperative that you work with a DUI attorney as soon as possible so that he or she has sufficient time to explore your options.Share
17 October 2016
Few things are more frustrating than being accused of a crime that you didn't commit. I found myself in this difficult situation a few years ago when I was with a friend who broke the law. However, I knew that I didn't do anything, which is why I hired an experienced criminal attorney to help me out. He carefully reviewed my case, talked with me about what court would be like, and helped me to wrap my head around the different punishments I might face. He helped to prove my innocence, and I decided to set up this blog to help other people to understand the importance of working with a professional.