DUI arrests are much more common than most people think. In response to this problem, most states have made DUI penalties more severe in recent years. While anyone who has been arrested for DUI faces potential penalties, the stakes are even higher for immigrants. Depending on where an immigrant is in the immigration process, a DUI may affect immigration status, and could even lead to deportation.
It is important for any immigrant facing DUI charges to build a strong DUI defense to avoid administrative and criminal penalties, as well as to protect his or her immigration status. Experienced DUI defense attorney James Novak discusses the potential penalties facing clients dealing with DUI and immigration issues in the Phoenix, AZ area, in addition to advice on how best to protect immigration status following a DUI arrest.
Can A DUI Affect Immigration Status?
Many immigrants who are arrested for DUI immediately worry about how the arrest will affect their immigration status. Will they be deported? Will their naturalization be denied? Will they be blocked reentry into the country? Unfortunately, the answer to these questions is not a simple “yes” or “no.”
Any time an immigrant is arrested for DUI, his or her photo and fingerprints will be taken. This information is saved in a national database that will be referenced anytime the individual applies for an immigration benefit. Beyond that, the specific effects that a DUI will have on immigration status are dependent on the details of each arrest.
Undocumented immigrants who are arrested for DUI may face immediate immigration proceedings, which could result in deportation. However, documented immigrants who are first-time offenders and are arrested for a simple DUI likely do not need to worry about deportation.
Unfortunately, DUI arrests often do involve additional charges. The following special circumstances can complicate a DUI arrest and the effect it may have on immigration status:
- Criminal charges
- History of DUI arrests
- A DUI involving drugs, as opposed to alcohol
- Driving on a suspended license
- Driving under the influence with a child in the car
If any of the above complications are present, a DUI arrest could result in consequences including deportation, denial of admissibility into the United States, and denial of citizenship.
Protect your Immigration Status
It is important for immigrants facing DUI charges to work with an experienced DUI defense attorney, such as James Novak. The best way to prevent changes in immigration status based on DUI charges is to avoid conviction or to reduce criminal charges and penalties. Mr. Novak has a great understanding of DUI laws and has helped countless clients avoid the harsh penalties of DUI conviction. Mr. Novak will explore defense options including inaccurate DUI testing and incorrect police protocol to ensure the best possible outcome for his clients.
If you have been arrested for DUI, it is extremely important to contact an experienced DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. Contact us to learn more about your options regarding DUI defense and how attorney James Novak can assist you throughout your DUI proceedings.