If you’re not a U.S. citizen, but are here on a visa or in some other fashion, you may be worried about getting deported. The government has allowed you to come to the United States due to the terms of your visa, but they can change their mind and tell you that you’re no longer allowed to legally be within the country.
Naturally, this is also something that undocumented immigrants will consider. If it is discovered that they are undocumented through a DUI arrest, they could be deported to their home country.
As such, if you are not a U.S. citizen, should you be extra concerned about getting a DUI? Assuming you are here legally – on a work visa, for instance, or a student visa – could something that seems so relatively minor actually get you deported?
It depends on the circumstances
In a lot of cases, a DUI is not going to get you deported because it’s not a crime of moral turpitude. it’s simply seen more as a mistake than as something that was done intentionally to cause harm. Crimes of moral turpitude are typically more serious and dangerous, such as domestic violence or gun offenses. If you had one too many beers and got into a fender-bender, you probably won’t be deported, even though that is a crime.
But the circumstances can change when there are other events that have to be factored in. For instance, someone who was street racing while driving under the influence may stand a much higher chance of being deported if they’re convicted because street racing puts other drivers in danger. If a drunk driver was involved in a fatal accident, the ramifications will be much more strict than if it was a fender-bender.
Do you know exactly what steps to take?
For non-citizens, a DUI conviction can have a huge impact on their lives. It is crucial that you work with an attorney who understands what is at stake and how to mount a successful defense. These cases are delicate. If the defense does not take into consideration the immigration aspects, the person can find themselves beating the DUI but getting deported anyway. Be sure you know exactly what options you have.