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DUI arrest after U visa Approval. Would it doom my chance of Adjustment of Status?

San Francisco, CA |

My U visa was approved in Aug, 2011. I passed the CA bar exam and became a member of the State Bar in Oct, 2012. A few days after I was sworn in as an attorney and had my State Bar number, I was arrested for DUI and BAC>0.08 by the police. The County is very tough on DUI, though it's my first offense, I would probably be convicted of DUI and sentenced to probation. Before U visa approval, I had a noncriminal Disorderly Conduct (not a CIMT) conviction in NY, which I disclosed to the USCIS. First time DUI is neither CIMT, nor Crime of Violence; I also understand I must volunteer a lot, show rehabilitation, and get support letters for Adjustment of Status; but do the DUI arrest, possible conviction and probation after U visa approval, still doom any chance of Adjustment of Status?

I was a victim of a serious crime, the perpetrator was arrested, convicted and sentenced. I hasn't refused any request from the Police or Prosecutor and I believe the Police will issue an additional I-918 supplement B to prove that. I was so devastated by the DUI arrest, because the requirement for U visa Adjustment is so murky and USCIS has complete discretion and I can't appeal: "You establish your presence in the United States is justified on humanitarian grounds, to ensure family unity or is in the public interest". My interpretation is if you don't committed a crime after being granted U visa, it's automatical Adjustment; if you commit a crime while on U nonimmigrant status, the adjustment will be denied. hope I am wrong.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. 1. Congratulations on your admission to the bar.
    2. You will probably be OK
    3. Hire an attorney ... don't try to represent yourself.

    To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln "he who represents himself has a fool for a client"

    PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for over 10 years -- This blog posting is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.


  2. Talk to an immigration attorney. The good news is a DUI is not a crime of moral turpitude.
    Robert Driessen

    Mr. Driessen is a former Deputy DA in Orange County with over 8 years of criminal law experience. Nothing stated on this site shall in anyway be construed as legal advice, or as creating any attorney client relationship. If you would like to hire Mr. Driessen, feel free to contact him at www.theocduiguy.com.


  3. Congratulations on passing the bar, and you should be fine. However, more and more DUI cases are treated very harshly, so you really have to take responsibility for your actions, and never do it again.

    Contact attorney Gintare Grigaite, Esq. at 646-407-2331, located in New York and New Jersey. Answers on AVVO do not constitute legal advice and do not form attorney-client relationship. Always consult an attorney for a legal advice.


  4. Applicants for adjustment of status from U-1 to LPR status adjust under INA 245(m) which does not require a showing of admissibility, as is the usual case. DUI is not a moral turpitude crime anyway, but it sometimes can be raised as a fact reflecting a mental disorder with associated harmful behavior (which is a basis of inadmissibility). However, it is stil discretionary and they can map any other standard they want onto that determination.

    I have a really hard time believing that USCIS is going to deny your adjustment based on this. My firm has regularly sen people with more serious criminal baggage wins their cases. For example, I represented someone who was convicted of vehicular manslaughter while driving drunk and who had been the victim of a very very serious crime. USCIS approved the adjustment application despite the nearly one year criminal sentence. It sounds like you have very favorable factors on your side too. Good luck.

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