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San Diego DUI and Immigration Consequences

by | Mar 1, 2014 | DUI Cases |

I had a client the other day have an unfortunate scenario.  She is not a US citizen and has lived here since she was a child.  She had a San Diego DUI in June 2013.  She has complied with all the terms given to her by the court.  She is paying off all the fines.  However, her privilege to drive is still suspended.  She was recently stopped for speeding.  Instead of a ticket for speeding.  She has a suspended license charge for a San Diego DUI conviction. This form of suspended license is just as bad a San Diego DUI charge.

What are the consequences of a San Diego DUI for immigrants? Privileges for immigrants have been expanding recently. Perhaps most notably in California, where a law was just signed allowing undocumented immigrants living in California to be eligible to apply for driver’s licenses.

However, these privileges are not without consequences. If a non-citizen is convicted of a DUI, the results may look very different for an immigrant as opposed to a U.S. citizen. Here’s a breakdown of what immigration consequences may come from a DUI for three immigration categories:

DUI on a Green Card

While getting a San Diego DUI as a green card holder is obviously not preferred, it will likely not affect your immigration status as a green card holder. Your case may differ, and the specific extent of your immigration consequences largely depends on the circumstances. For example, you could be categorized as “inadmissible”.  If your San Diego DUI is linked to or infers any type of substance abuse. Being labeled “inadmissible” could prevent your ability to re-enter the U.S.

DUI on a Visa

A visa is different from a green card — there is usually a designated expiration date on a visa, whereas a green card allows you to stay in the country indefinitely. If you’re convicted of a San Diego DUI while in the U.S. on a visa, be prepared to face the criminal penalties of the laws of the United States.

It is also likely that you’ll be unable to leave until your criminal case is fully adjudicated. Any conviction resulting from a San Diego DUI case may also affect your admissibility status in the future.

DUI While Undocumented

Getting a San Diego DUI as an undocumented immigrant comes with many of the same consequences as one would face if he or she is was in the U.S. on a green card. While one misdemeanor conviction will not immediately result in deportation, it can still create consequences and complications in the long run. This includes threatening one’s inadmissibility status or raising a red flag regarding one’s moral character determination during a naturalization interview…. assuming one ever reaches eligible status to apply for citizenship.

San DIego DUIs carry dire consequences even for citizens — as an immigrant with a San Diego DUI, the matter is even more complicated.

Hire a Proactive, affordable, and quality defense when you are facing San Diego DUI charges. Whether you have been charged of a San Diego DUI, Poway DUI, La Mesa DUI, Santee DUI, Mission Valley DUI, Clairemont DUI, Point Loma DUI, La Jolla DUI, Carmel Valley DUI, Mira Mesa DUI, Pacific Beach DUI, Del Mar DUI, Carmel Valley DUI, Encinitas DUI, Oceanside DUI, Ocean Beach DUI, Escondido DUI, Vista DUI, San Marcos DUI, Carlsbad DUI, El Cajon DUI it is vital you need to hire an attorney who knows how to defend your rights and can determine if the government can prove their case. Contact the Law Office of Mark Deniz now for a free case evaluation at 858-751-4384 or send an email to [email protected].

Some sources:

  • Warning: Drunk Driving May be Hazardous to Your Immigration Status (FindLaw)
  • California DUI Laws (FindLaw)
  • How Does a Felony Affect Immigration Status? (FindLaw)
  • The Green Card Process: Do’s and Don’ts (FindLaw)
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