DUI cases involve the DMV and a criminal court prosecution. For people who are not naturalized citizens of the U.S., a DUI criminal conviction can have an effect on their immigration status. Why? Because the U.S. Government wants to prevent individuals with certain criminal histories from immigrating to the U.S. as a way to protect the public and to welcome only suitable, law abiding people into the U.S.
Steps in any DUI Case:
In any DUI case, a DMV process will start when the driver is stopped by law enforcement. Officers will give the driver a temporary license document and take their plastic license. If the driver does not have a license, the officer will simply give the driver the “temporary license” document which also acts as a notice of pending DMV proceedings against the driver.
In criminal court, a DUI driver will face either felony or misdemeanor charges. For immigration purposes this can be very important. One garden variety misdemeanor DUI is not going to have the same consequences as a felony DUI case involving an accident with injuries. This is due to how the law treats DUI cases with injuries. When someone is injured as a result of someone else’s impaired driving, the result is treated as a violent crime. These cases are charged as felonies and expose the driver to serious state prison time. On top of that, the driver can also face denial of immigration status, exclusion from the U.S. and deportation.
Factors that are looked at when determining how immigration consequences are delt:
In the context of immigration, the impact a DUI conviction will have on a person’s immigration status can depend on:
-The number of DUI’s the driver has
-The driver’s other criminal history (if any)
-The length of jail or prison given in a DUI case
-Whether the driver faced felony or misdemeanor charges
DUI and Immigration Resources:
http://www.ilrc.org/files/documents/ilrc-ca_chart__notes-2013-03_05.pdf This .pdf was compiled by a non-profit legal research and aid entity that discusses the various possible outcomes for immigration cases and how they can be effected by criminal convictions.