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Can I Be Deported for a California DUI?

Are you a non-U.S. citizen who was recently arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Orange County? If so, perhaps you are wondering if a DUI conviction could cause you to be deported.

If you were arrested for DUI and this was your first offense without any aggravating factors, the odds are that you won’t be deported. However, under certain circumstances, a California DUI conviction can be considered an inadmissible or deportable crime under U.S. immigration law.

There is a possibility that you may be deported if you are convicted of:

  • DUI of drugs,
  • DUI while driving on a suspended license,
  • DUI and child endangerment; for example, you were driving under the influence and had a child in the car,
  • Multiple DUIs, or
  • A DUI conviction on top of another criminal conviction.

Let’s say that Jose is from Mexico and has a green card. He is convicted of DUI and his driver’s license is suspended for six months – this has no impact on his immigration status. However, while Jose’s driver’s license is suspended, he goes to a family barbeque, has six beers and drives home with his wife and kids in the car.

This time, Jose is convicted of DUI, driving on a suspended license and child endangerment. Now, Jose has to worry about his immigration status because he drove while intoxicated on a suspended license, and while his young children were in the car.

Jose faces deportation because driving on a suspended license and child endangerment are considered “crimes of moral turpitude,” which could result in deportation.

Were you arrested for DUI drugs?

While most simple alcohol-related DUIs won’t have immigration consequences, a conviction for driving under the influence of drugs (DUI of drugs) is a different story.

This is because under 8 U.S. Code § 1227, deportable aliens, and the Immigration Nationality Act (INA), any alien admitted to the United States shall be removed if: any time after admission are convicted of a violation of any state or federal law relating to a controlled substance.

Essentially, if a green card holder is convicted of driving under the influence of marijuana or another drug, he or she could be deported because it was a “controlled substance” offense.

Help from One of Orange County’s Premier DUI Defense Firms

A single DUI conviction without aggravating factors can affect your ability to become a U.S. citizen because you must demonstrate “good moral character.” Thus, any criminal history, including a California DUI could affect the naturalization process.

If you’ve been arrested for DUI in Orange County, contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. to work with one of the top DUI defense firms in the area. Call now to schedule a free case evaluation!