A DUI arrest can be an emotionally overwhelming and traumatic situation. A conviction for a first offense can result in driver’s license suspension, a fine of up to $1,000, and even a maximum six-month jail sentence.
However, if an individual who is not a U.S. citizen is found guilty of drunk driving in Florida, can a conviction lead to deportation under U.S. immigration law? The answer depends on the circumstances of the case and the individual’s immigration status.
In general, DUI is not a deportable offense. Because the crime lacks a mens rea, or intent requirement, DUI has been found by several immigration courts to not be a crime of violence or a crime involving moral turpitude. See Matter of Ramos, 23 I & N Dec. 336 (BIA 2002).
However, in certain circumstances, DUI can have a serious negative consequence on your immigration status.
The following are several ways a DUI can cause negative immigration consequences:
- If the individual has no legal status, then a DUI can result in deportation.
- If the individual has DACA, a DUI can result in termination of the individual’s DACA status and result in deportation.
- If the individual is convicted of a DUI where there is an element to the crime that the Defendant knowingly drove on a suspended license, the DUI can result in deportation.
- If a legal permanent resident is convicted of a DUI, he will be barred from applying for citizenship for 5 years.
Additionally, if the individual had prior deportable criminal convictions such as possession of a controlled substance or a violent crime, then a DUI could trigger a review of the individual’s immigration status which could trigger removal proceedings.
Common crimes and convictions that can get an immigrant deported include:
- Aggravated felonies
- Crimes of moral turpitude
- Drug crimes
- Domestic violence
- Firearm crimes
- Sex crimes
- Crimes against the United States
At Hubbs Law Firm, not only are we capable of helping you get your DUI case dismissed or your charges reduced, but we can also represent clients facing deportation. We serve clients in Miami-Dade County, and surrounding cities of Miami, Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Hialeah, Miami Springs, Doral, Kendall, Homestead, and Pinecrest.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Miami, contact us today at (305) 570-4802 to let us get started on your case.