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How Might a DUI and Other Crimes Affect your Immigration Situation?
Can a DUI negatively affect your immigration situation?
Generally, a single DUI charge will not lead to deportation. However, if there are any aggravating factors, such as multiple DUI charges, receiving your DUI while driving on a suspended license, or other reckless behavior surrounding the DUI charge, it may lead to deportation, inadmissibility, or denial of immigration applications. Because many factors affect DUI or other criminal charges, it is difficult to predict the exact effect that a DUI or other charge may have on your immigration situation. Accordingly it is best to seek an experienced immigration attorney’s advice on your specific situation.
Requirements for Immigrants to Enter and Remain in the United States
Some of the major requirements for immigrants to enter and remain in the United States legally include demonstrating ‘good moral character’ and not committing any crimes involving moral turpitude (CIMT). Habitual drinkers and those that commit aggravated felonies or multiple felonies are specifically excluded from those considered to show good moral character. Although all crimes may be used against the immigrant to show lack of good moral character, most crimes can be rebutted with other evidence. DUIs and most misdemeanor charges alone are not crimes involving moral turpitude, and do not generally prove someone lacks good moral character. However, multiple citations or different circumstances surrounding the charge may be detrimental to someone’s immigration situation.
Aggravated Felonies & Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude
Aggravated felonies generally include more severe crimes such as murder, rape, trafficking firearms, crimes of violence, theft, fraud, and obstruction of justice. Crimes involving moral turpitude include fraud and misrepresentation, but refer generally to conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty, or good morals. Do not, as an example, lie about a DUI charge and do not fail to appear before a court pursuant to a court order to answer to, or dispose of, a charge of a felony for which a sentence of 2 years imprisonment or more may be imposed. Doing so may be an aggravated felony as well as a crime involving moral turpitude.
Although this article may give you a general idea about the affects of a DUI or other criminal charges may have on your immigration situation, because no individual situation is exactly the same, it is always best to contact an experienced immigration attorney. Make sure to provide all information and documentation relating to the offense, including your citation, accusation, indictment, plea, sentence, and proof that any and all penalties have been satisfied.
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