If you are an immigrant facing any kind of criminal charges, you may be fearful of your continued stay in the country, and rightly so. Some crimes can lead to deportation, and you could even be barred from returning to the country. Such crimes are known as crimes of moral turpitude.
While driving under the influence (DUI) on its own does not meet the threshold of deportable crimes, there are instances where a DUI conviction could affect your immigration status, as discussed below.
It depends on the circumstances of your DUI
The facts of your DUI will determine whether a conviction will affect your continued stay in the country. For instance, if it is your first DUI case and there are no aggravating factors, you may not be deported unless you are in the country illegally.
However, if it is an aggravated DUI involving minors or drugs, or if there was death or injury to victims or even destruction of property, you may face deportation if convicted. An aggravated DUI is not a misdemeanor and can be considered an immoral act or reckless behavior, similar to other crimes of moral turpitude.
How can you protect yourself?
If you have been charged with drunk driving, your best bet lies in successfully defending your DUI charges. You cannot be deported if you are not convicted of your offense.
There are various defense strategies that you could use to go against the prosecution’s case against you. However, it is advisable to have an informed assessment of your DUI charges to determine the best way forward.
The bottom line is that you cannot take any chances with your DUI case especially if you are an immigrant. Deportation could uproot you from the life you were used to and tear you from your friends and family.