Will I Automatically Be Deported After a DWI Conviction in New Jersey?

  • DWI

While some DWI charges remain traffic infractions, others can come with serious criminal consequences, including deportation. The legal issues attached to a drunk driving charge can impact non-U.S. citizens and raise concerns on whether they are fit to remain in the country.

The immigration department considers several factors before deciding whether to remove you. An expert New Jersey DWI lawyer understands these possibilities and can advise on things you can do to get the best possible outcomes in the DWI case and the immigration system. This post will explain the common question, “can you get deported for a DUI?”

Under What Grounds can DWI Warrant Deportation in N.J.?

According to the immigration laws, a non-U.S. citizen can be denied access to the country or be removed through the deportation proceedings for:

  • Offenses related to controlled dangerous substances
  • Crimes of moral turpitude
  • Aggravated felonies

DUI is a Crime of Moral Turpitudes

Crimes of moral turpitude have not been defined in the Immigration and Naturalization Act. However, it has been explained in courts as conduct that could shock any conscious person because it is inherently depraved, vile, base, or unacceptable in society. A DWI can be a crime in this category if the driver’s mental state or intention meets the unacceptability definition.

DUI as an Aggravated Felony – Crime of Violence

While DUI isn’t specifically mentioned in this category, it can be a crime of violence if it involves:

  • Use of force against someone or their property
  • A felony that uses physical force against a person or their property

A DUI arrest committed under the above circumstances can attract the following immigration consequences:

  • Removal from the U.S.
  • Immediate detention
  • Prevents relief from the removal
  • 20-year bar from returning to the U.S.

What Happens When a DWI Isn’t a Crime of Violence or Moral Turpitude?

A simple DWI might not be a crime of moral turpitude or a crime of violence if;

  • It did not result in imprisonment of a year or more
  • No physical force was used in committing the offense
  • You don’t have several prior DWI criminal convictions
  • You were not in possession of drugs
  • Significant injuries did not result from the accident

While simply driving after alcohol intake isn’t automatically an offense of moral turpitude or a crime of violence, it isn’t devoid of immigration court consequences. A top-rated immigration DWI in New Jersey can explain the specific circumstances that might come with negative outcomes for non-U.S. citizens.

Are Persons in Humanitarian Assistance Affected?

A DWI charge can portray you as someone of compromised moral character and make you vulnerable to deportation. The Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can initiate proceedings to initiate such actions. Note that officers from ICE frequent court proceedings and might arrest you right after leaving the courtroom.

The charges can also disqualify you for renewal in the DACA or DAPA program and leave you vulnerable to ejection from the United States. So, before you appear in court for DWI, ensure you understand your rights and options. Consult with an experienced immigration DWI in New Jersey as soon as you are issued a ticket.

Can My Application to Become a U.S. Citizen be Denied Because of DWI Records?

DWI charges might not bring immediate immigration consequences, but the records can affect future immigration-related endeavors. If you apply to be considered for citizenship, your DWI records might be reviewed. Unless you prove otherwise, your application could be denied because of questionable moral character.

You can, however, present evidence showing that you have been of good moral character since your last conviction. Mere arrests and DWI charges might not be used against you unless you were actually convicted. Therefore, it is advisable for non-citizens with ambitions of applying for citizenship to fight aggressively to keep a DWI conviction off their records in New Jersey and not affect immigration status.

How Should I Plea to DWI Charges to Safeguard My Immigration Status?

Any time a non-citizen seeks naturalization, adjustment of status, asylum, visa renewal, work authorization, or admission to the United States, their arrests and criminal record might be reviewed. A conviction can mean several things in immigration laws, including;

  • Any form of restraint, penalty, or punishment
  • Admission of facts to warrant a guilty finding
  • Entering a guilty plea
  • A jury or judge found you guilty
  • Adjudication of guilt was withheld
  • The court entered a judgment of guilt

It is advisable to always seek the advice of a skilled immigration DWI in New Jersey before taking a plea. Even if you believe that you committed the offense, you should think twice before admitting guilt because of the immigration consequences it might have.

How Do Immigration Lawyers Help Non-Citizens?

Immigration decisions in recent times have proven that DWI can be quite damaging, especially with prior dui convictions. Accused persons should consider working with an immigration lawyer that has been representing foreign nationals for a long time.

A seasoned immigration DWI in New Jersey will not approach your charges like they would if it involved a U.S. citizen. Instead, they could give it the special considerations it deserves.

They will take their time to listen to your story and assess it from a legal perspective. The legal expert could explain all the possible immigration consequences now and in the future. Importantly, they might inform you of your most viable options and ensure that you pick one with the least magnitude of repercussions. And if you have to negotiate a plea, they will represent you and factor in the effects each move might have.

Learn Your Legal Options Today from a Professional

Deportation is a real possibility for non-U.S. citizens accused of driving while drunk. Your unfinished career and lifetime goals can go down the drain if you don’t fight to keep grave immigration consequences at bay.

Our attorneys understand how important it is for you to remain in the United States until you accomplish your goals. They will do everything it takes to ensure you do not exit forcibly and leave your family and friends devastated. Speak to us today to discuss your DWI and develop a strategic defense.

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