I got approved for deferred action back in November. I am 24 years old. Recently got my first DUI by rear ending someone. It is a misdemeanor because no one got hurt. I blew a 0.16. All the DUI lawyers I have contacted told me that I am going to lose no matter what so to not bother with hiring a lawyer and just get a PD. Will my DUI affect my deferred action later? Should i get a criminal immigration lawyer?
Thanks in advance
In addition to DUI, I handle some immigration matters and have had all my DACAs (Deferred Action for Early Childhood Arrivals) approved. Now as you know, a DUI would have disqualified you for DACA. Since you are approved, we have to look at "removable" offenses (i.e., violations that will get you deported).
A DUI with no injury (you really lucked out here) is NOT a removable offense for immigration purposes. Nevertheless, you will want to fight this tooth and nail if you want to have a chance at CIR (Comprehensive Immigration Reform) if it does clear the Republican-led House of Representatives. Since the bill has not passed yet, it is impossible to know disqualifying criminal violations. But if a DUI would have disqualified you for DACA, then it's safe to assume it MAY deny you CIR.
And even with that said, you should definitely challenge the charges. A 0.16 BAC may carry enhanced penalties in the form of a 6 or 9 month alcohol class (versus a 3 month class for a 1st DUI). Plus your insurance will go up, penalties and fees will close in around $2000, you will have a criminal record, etc. There's no good reason not to fight any DUI, if anything, a skilled DUI lawyer will look at all the DA's evidence, look for weaknesses, and perhaps negotiate some type of reduction and/or sentencing alternative.
Best of luck to you, but I'd hire someone who knows both DUI and immigration law. Call me if you want a free consultation.
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