When Justin Bieber was arrested for driving under the influence in 2014, lots of people were wondering if he would be deported for his mischief in South Florida. After his DUI arrest in Miami Beach on January 23, 2014, a group of people signed a petition, entitled “Deport Justin Bieber and revoke his green card” on the site, We the People.
In the petition, the Canadian singer and songwriter was described as dangerous, reckless, destructive and “drug abusing.” Once the petition surpassed 100,000 signatures, it could head to the White House for review. With more than 273,000 signatures in August of 2015, the petition had more than met that requirement. While the petition received enough signatures for White House review, the Obama Administration declined to comment on the matter.
Bieber Fans Fired Back at the Haters
In response to the petition, Bieber fans known as “Beliebers,” started their own petition on the We the People site, called “Stop Justin Bieber from getting deported.” There, Bieber fans argued that the “One Less Lonely Girl” singer is a human being who makes mistakes.
In Bieber’s 2014 DUI case, the popstar negotiated a plea deal with the prosecutor in Florida. He pleaded guilty to resisting an officer without violence and to careless driving. In exchange, the state dropped the DUI charges. Bieber was ordered to pay a $500 fine, and he was sentenced to a 12 hours of anger management classes and an alcohol education course. As a part of his deal, he agreed to donate $50,000 to a children’s charity.
When the toxicology results came back, Bieber’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was less than the 0.02 legal limit for underage drivers, but he did test positive for marijuana and Xanax, according to NBC Miami.
Why Bieber Wasn’t Sent Back to Canada
Bieber is said to be in the U.S. on an O-1B visa, which is based on extraordinary achievement in the arts, TV or film. So, why wasn’t Bieber deported after his DUI arrest in 2014? Immigration experts who weighed in on the matter said that deportation was highly unlikely. One reason is because about a decade ago, the Supreme Court ruled that under most circumstances, DUI is not grounds for deportation.
As Orange County DUI defense attorneys, we have to agree with the immigration experts. Generally, DUI is not a deportable offense unless it was a drug-related DUI, or the DUI suspect committed a felony DUI; for example, the impaired driver seriously injured or killed another person during the drunk or drugged driving incident.