A conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) in California can drastically impact your right to drive, and can also lead to hefty fines and even jail time. However, if you are not a U.S. citizen, it can also impact your immigration status or even lead to your deportation.
Three Important Types of Crimes for Your Immigration Status
In the United States, non-citizens who get convicted of a crime in the country can face serious legal repercussions. The severity of these repercussions depends on the type of crime you were convicted of committing. These types of crimes lead to:
- Inadmissibility, or
- Neither deportation nor inadmissibility.
If you get convicted for a crime of deportation, you face immediate deportation. On the other hand, if you get convicted for a crime of inadmissibility, you will face restrictions on becoming a U.S. citizen, getting a green card or adjusting your immigration status, and can even be prevented from re-entering the U.S. after leaving. Finally, there are some crimes that will have no effect on your immigration status.
Therefore, it is crucially important which of these three categories a DUI conviction falls into.
DUI Crimes that Do Not Impact Immigration
Some DUIs do not impact your immigration status. These DUIs can only involve alcohol – not drugs – and cannot involve aggravating factors, like driving on a suspended license.
DUI Crimes that Can Impact Immigration
On the other hand, there are numerous different ways that a DUI crime can impact your immigration status in the U.S. Whether they can lead to deportation or inadmissibility, though, often depends on the specific facts of your case, making it necessary to have a skilled DUI-defense attorney at your side.
DUI Crimes that Lead to Inadmissibility
Some DUI crimes can impact your immigration status by making you inadmissible for re-entry into the United States. These types of crimes typically involve:
- Moral turpitude, or fraud, dishonesty, or behavior that is likely to hurt someone else or that shocks the public conscience,
- Multiple convictions with an aggregate sentence of five or more years, or
- Conviction for a drug crime, including driving while under the influence of drugs.
DUI Crimes that Lead to Deportation
Other DUI crimes can lead to immediate deportation. These can include:
- Crimes of moral turpitude,
- Aggravated felonies, involving a sentence of more than a year in jail (California convictions for DUI are rarely such aggravated felonies), or
- DUI offenses involving controlled substances.
Sacramento DUI-Defense Attorney John Campanella
Being charged for a DUI is stressful enough when your immigration status is not at risk. When you can lose your right to live in the U.S., though, it can drastically raise the stakes and make a successful defense an absolute necessity.
DUI-defense attorney John Campanella understands this and strives to represent clients who are facing DUI charges in California. Contact him online or call his Sacramento law office at (877) DUI-JOHN for the legal representation you need to protect your right to live and work in the United States.