My fiance is getting ready to plea guilty by signing a 1244-A, the only reason he is doing this is because he wants to make the amount of time he is in jail shorter. If he decides to have the jury to decide his fate he'll waste time because most Texans are not all for illegal immigrants. He is being accussed of DWI with a minor under 15 and another DWI within the 3 months from each other. He also has an immigration hold because he is undocumented. My question is this, since he is pleading guilty will he be considered an aggravated felon? The reason why I'm asking is because according to my research I have found that "aggravated felons" do not have a chance to ever become legal in this country. Please Help!
I also believe if he is considered an aggravated felon that he would not have a chance to obtain an immigration bond. Is this accurate?
Criminal Defense Attorney
Your tentative legal research is legally correct that the effects of certain criminal pleas are fatal to immigration cases.
DO NOT PLEAD to any criminal offenses, especially if the offense is felony until you have discuss any criminal consequences of such pleas with a good criminal and immigration attorneys. As they say you cannot unring the bell, and once an undocumented alien becomes an aggravated felon under the INA that person becomes statutorily inadmissible for any prospective immigration benefits.
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DUI / DWI Attorney
Signing a 12.44 does not make a case aggravated. It is either aggravated by the facts of the case or it's not. A DWI Child is not aggravated for the purposes of sentencing. How this will impact his immigration status is a question for an immigration attorney.
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General Practice Lawyer
You need to consult with an immigration lawyer about this.
Criminal Defense Attorney
Tex. Penal Code Section 12.44(a) is the reduction of a State Jail Felony punishment range to that of a misdemeanor. He would still have a felony conviction on his record if he were to plea to this. A conviction of DWI with Child Passenger can seriously affect his ability to stay within the United States and he could be subject to deportation and exclusion from the country. He really needs to consult an immigration attorney as to his chances of U.S. Citizenship, deportation, and possible exclusion from the United States. I will edit the practice areas to include immigration.
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I agree with other lawyers: you need to have an Immigration lawyer to review an offer before pleading guilty to anything.
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As my colleagues have ready made clear, once an alien is an aggravated felon there is no going back. However, as general rule, DUI with a minor is not "aggregated" for sentencing purposes. But before your fiancé pleads to anything, he needs to discuss the consequences of such a plea with both a qualified criminal defense attorney and a qualified immigration attorney in your area.
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