How Can A DWI Conviction Impact Your Immigration Status?


The consequences of a driving while intoxicated, or DWI, can reach beyond jail and a fine for certain immigrants. In some instances, it could affect their right to be in the country and they could face deportation. If you are an immigrant, here is what you need to know about the potential impact of a DWI conviction on your legal status.

Is Deportation Likely?

Whether deportation is a possibility depends largely on the circumstances of your case. However, a DWI is considered a crime of moral turpitude. As such, it is potentially punishable by deportation. In fact, it could have an impact on whether you can re-enter the country in the future.

Once you are deported for the DWI, you could face being labeled "inadmissible." Inadmissibility basically means that you cannot be considered for a visa or green card to enter the United States regardless of any factors, such as being employed in the country.

Inadmissibility is not always permanent. In some instances, the ban is only a set number of years. At that point, you can apply for re-entry.

Certain factors make it more likely that you will be deported for the DWI. For instance, if you have multiple DWI convictions, the likelihood for being deported increases.

What Can You Do?

Although your immigration status is at risk, handling the DWI should be a top concern. If you can get the charge reduced or dropped altogether, it will not have an impact on your status. Whether this is possible depends on your case.

Working with a DWI attorney is best at this point. He or she can review the evidence that was used against you and determine whether it is possible to discredit it. For instance, if the blood sample that was taken from you after the arrest was not properly handled, your attorney could question if it is possible to prove that it is yours.

Your attorney can also negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce the charge. In some circumstances, the prosecutor will agree to it. For instance, if your blood alcohol levels were low, the prosecutor might be willing to drop the charge to a reckless driving instead. The charge would have no impact on your immigration status.

As long as you complete the terms of the agreement, you do not have to worry about more serious consequences, such as deportation or a denial of your visa or green card application.  


22 July 2017

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