My boyfriend got a DUI, and he's an illegal immigrant. What can happen to him?

My boyfriend was driving home the other night after drinking with some friends. He crashed into a center divider on a residential street and when he crawled out the cops were already with him. He told them he had been drinking earlier in the night and that he did not have a license. They arrested him and he spent the night at the station. He has court in April. I was wondering if he faces jail time, or even deportation for his actions. He has never committed any crime prior to this.

Long Beach, CA -

Attorney Answers (9)

Roger Humberto Ponce Jr

Roger Humberto Ponce Jr

Criminal Defense Attorney - Los Angeles, CA
Answered

Your boyfriend wants to avoid jail at all cost if he was released. I specialize in crimmigration and can assure you that he is very fortunate that the arresting agency didn't inform ICE when he was arrested to begin with.

If he is in custody, you need to contact an immigration attorney ASAP.

Now, as to DUIs, they are generally not fatal when it comes to immigration. Immigration judges and adjudicating officers frown upon them, but they can be overcome in most cases (except in Dream Act as currently constituted).

You need an attorney that can guide you through criminal court and preserve your rights for immigration purposes. You should consult an immigration attorney to determine if there is any current immigration relief for him.

This message is not intended to be advice nor is it a basis for attorney-client confidentiality or relationship.... more
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Michael Korry Bialys

Michael Korry Bialys

Criminal Defense Attorney - Newbury Park, CA
Answered

unfortunately there is the potential for both. he does need a good lawyer. A good attorney can help him avoid jail time and my assist or direct you with some of the immigration issues

Michael Korry Bialys

Michael Korry Bialys

Criminal Defense Attorney - Newbury Park, CA
Answered

unfortunately there is the potential for both. he does need a good lawyer. A good attorney can help him avoid jail time and my assist or direct you with some of the immigration issues

Matthew Murillo

Matthew Murillo

DUI / DWI Attorney - Redlands, CA
Answered

He can get deported even if the criminal case is dropped. What makes him deportable is being here illegally, not getting a DUI.

You should get an attorney for the DUI now because a conviction could hurt his immigration case. Additionally, start consulting with immigration attorneys to see how to proceed with that case.

Any information provided through Avvo.com in response to a question is not, and cannot be considered a formation... more
Richard Stephen Jaffe

Richard Stephen Jaffe

Lawyer - Birmingham, AL
Answered

If it is a first offense he probably will not get jail time although it is possible, but not likely. But you should find an immigration attorney in your area right away to advise you on the deportation question which could be serious.

Any response given is not to be taken as legal advice or to create an attorney client relationship.
Hart Jasper Levin

Hart Jasper Levin

DUI / DWI Attorney - Los Angeles, CA
Answered

He will be deported if it is not handled a certain way. Call 310 - 935 - 3100 to discuss.

Samuel Patrick Ouya Maina

Samuel Patrick Ouya Maina

Immigration Attorney - San Francisco, CA
Answered

He can face both. he can be deported simply for being here without lawful status. whether he is convicted in criminal court or not. You should speak with attorneys well versed in criminal and immigration law.

Samuel Ouya Maina, Esq. 415.391.6612 s.ouya@mainalaw.com Law Offices of S. Ouya Maina, PC 332 Pine Street,... more
Frank Mascagni III

Frank Mascagni III

Criminal Defense Attorney - Louisville, KY
Answered

Hire a criminal defense attorney to defend the criminal case and an immigration attorney to advise on the immigration issue. Get legal advice NOW!

I am trying to give you a general answer to your question. We do not have an attorney-client relationship by this... more
Curtis Lamar Harrington Jr

Curtis Lamar Harrington Jr

Criminal Defense Attorney - Long Beach, CA
Answered

Look at the other side of the coin.

Also consider whether he has been living in the U.S. and has been paying his taxes regularly.

Depending upon the answers, he may want to repatriate to his home country, especially:

(a) if he has a DUI conviction
(b) the tax rate in his home country may be as much as 20% better than the U.S.
(c) he may still be liable for unpaid taxes and a further tax evasion charge depending upon the timing of his previous earnings

(d) he may want to consider steps to completely remove any U.S. connection, since U.S. residents (even NON-CITIZENS!!) are subject to U.S. federal jurisdiction no matter where they live. This means that if he shows up as a resident and keeps a U.S. connection, he may be held liable (wrongfully or rightfully) for future tax and may be liable for tax evasion.
(e) Further, CALIFORNIA acts the SAME WAY. Even U.S. citizens who leave California to live overseas have to make a BIG NOISE to California that it is intending NOT TO BE A CALIFORNIA CITIZEN ANY MORE!!!
I know of many instances where people who never intend to return to California are given tax bills for many thousands of dollars because CALIFORNIA ASSUMES THAT YOU ARE CONTINUING YOUR CALIFORNIA CITIZENSHIP/RESIDENCY...
(e) He may want to even go so far as to file form 8854 (expatriation) and copy the FTB where you don't want to continue to be under IRS/FTB jurisdiction.
(f) Another reason to cut off U.S. Jurisdiction is the FBAR problem, if he has any bank accounts in his home country.

(g) having you on one side and him on the other might be a good formula for making business in the U.S.

There may be a lot of advantages in bi-country business. And don't forget that if you, an American establish residency in his home country you may be eligible for a $95,000 annual exclusion from income!!!!


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Curt Harrington
Certified Tax Specialist -- State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization
Electrical-Chemical-Mechanical Patent (Intellectual Property) Attorney
(562) 594-9784
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Curt Harrington Patent & Tax Law Attorney Certified Tax Specialist by the California Board of Legal... more

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