Miami is infamous for its large population of immigrants who come from places such as Cuba, Central America, and South America. With so many immigrants living in Miami-Dade County, it’s understandable why many Miami residents are concerned about the immigration consequences.
Florida has some of the toughest laws in the nation, and DUI is no exception. The consequences of a DUI conviction can be even more severe for someone who has U.S. permanent resident status, or someone who is in the U.S. illegally.
What DUI Stands For
DUI refers to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, whether they are legal or illegal. The facts surrounding each DUI case can be very different. While a simple DUI may involve less than .015% blood alcohol content (BAC), and no accidents or injuries, many DUIs involve accidents, reckless driving, bodily injuries and other aggravating factors that can lead to a felony conviction.
Multiple DUI convictions, child endangerment, DUI with injury and DUI manslaughter – these are all aggravating factors that will be weighed by the immigration authorities when deciding whether a conviction will be grounds for deportation.
I have a green card. Can I be deported?
Unfortunately, yes you can; having a green card does not preclude you from removal proceedings. If you are convicted of DUI, you could be subjected to removal proceedings. In that case, an immigration judge will determine if your offense is included under the grounds of deportability.
An immigration judge could rule against you, and your green card can be taken away. You would then be removed from the U.S. and barred from reentering for several years.
In regards to a DUI, the following could subject a green card holder to deportation:
- A conviction for an aggravated felony
- Committing a crime of moral turpitude within five years of admission
- A violent crime conviction
- Two different crimes of moral turpitude
- An offense that involves a controlled substance (drugs)
The outcome of your case will depend on your individual circumstances and any previous criminal convictions. Even if you are not deported, if you leave the U.S., your DUI can present another set of problems under the laws addressing the “grounds of inadmissibility,” which could bar you from reentering the U.S. when applying for a green card or U.S. visa.
If you’re a non-U.S. citizen facing DUI charges, please don’t attempt to handle your case on your own. As an experienced Miami DUI defense attorney, I can explain the immigration consequences of a DUI and provide you with a hard-hitting defense.
My firm is ready to hear from you. Call (305) 707-0036 to begin discussing your legal options.