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Should this be handled by an attorney specialized in DUI or would it be best handled by an Immigration lawyer? Thanks for your

Grand Rapids, MI |

I’m writing on behalf of a friend. He is an Illegal Immigrant who years ago was stopped for a DUI. A couple years later while he still had a MI driver’s license, he again was caught drinking and driving. By this time the immigration situation had changed in Michigan and he got scared and never showed to his court date. He believes he must have a warrant as he never showed. He has since changed his life around and has become a stand-up guy, Christian, married and a family in the making. Here are the question, how can he take care of this warrant? Does he just pay fees & penalties? Would this be something he would personally have to show to court or can a lawyer represent him? He is worried because of his immigration status. How can we get this fixed?

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Attorney answers 9


He certainly needs a criminal lawyer and possibly an immigration lawyer. If he did not show up to Court, there is a warrant out for his arrest. He must take care of this.

Irene Vaisman, Esq. 11 Broadway, Suite 615 New York, NY 10004 (646) 253-0516 This is not legal advice and a client attorney relationship is not created. For a free consultation call (646) 253-0516.


He needs a criminal attorney right away. A good criminal lawyer will know what to do.


Right now definitely by a criminal lawyer to do the necessary to quash the bench warrant for his arrest that must have been issued due to his failure to appear at the hearing.

Behar Intl. Counsel 619.234.5962 Kindly be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.


He should immediately retain a criminal defense attorney - one familiar with the defense of DUI/DWI cases.


He WILL have to personally for his Court date -- he will likely have at least two court appearances, if not more. If the OWI happened in Grand Rapids, there are many excellent Grand Rapids-based AVVO lawyers who concentrate in OWI law who can assist (like Ed Sternisha, for example). He should also consult with an attorney who concentrates in Immigration Law, to confirm the impact on his status if he pleas to this second drunk driving charge. His driver license may be revoked as well. I wish your friend all the best of luck. Warmest regards, Matt Catchick.

Edward Jacob Sternisha

Edward Jacob Sternisha


Thank you for the kind endorsement Matt.

J. Matthew Catchick Jr.

J. Matthew Catchick Jr.


My pleasure! Stay cool over there, Ed. All my best, Matt Catchick.


It is both a criminal and immigration issue. He will have to hire a criminal defense attorney to deal with the warrants. He might be facing jail time for his failure to show. The immigration consequences will be severe also. Having two DUI convictions means that he will not be able to file to adjust his status. He will need an experienced immigration lawyer to handle that issue.

The Law Offices of Haytham Faraj PLLC
Offices in Chicago and Metro Detroit
312-635-0800 Chicago
313-436-1980 Metro Detroit

This is not legal advice. This is merely a recommendation on how to get what you need from the Court.


He should contact an immigration attorney who is well versed in criminal law. You can contact me if you need a referral, as I know one such attorney in the Kalamazoo area.

Generally speaking, appearances are necessary in criminal cases, so I highly doubt it will be as simple as essentially "mailing in" some fines and costs. Deportation could be an issue, however he should again talk to an immigration attorney about the issue first.

Best of luck to your friend.

An Attorney-Client relationship has not been established. Becket J. Jones is not your attorney.


He either needs an Immigration Attorney who also handles OWI criminal cases, or he needs an Immigration Attorney AND a Criminal Defense Attorney who handles OWI cases. While I handle OWI cases in Grand Rapids, I do not handle immigration matters but I do have immigration lawyers to refer you to if necessary. Your friend really should get this taken care of properly. By avoiding it, it will only be a matter of time before your friend is caught and likely deported.

Both matters are completely different but in your friend's case are intertwined. It is important to have an attorney who understands the ramifications of both issues. From what you described, it is not likely that this will just go away with the payment of fines/costs, etc. Also, your friend will need to appear in court but should not do so without an attorney. I hope this helps a bit. Good Luck!

Law Office of Edward J. Sternisha, PLLC
448 Leonard St NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
(616) 233-CALL-ED

The comments listed here do not create an attorney-client relationship. The comments are for informational purposes only and are not to be considered legal advice. This attorney is only licensed in Michigan and does not give legal advice in any other state. All comments are to be considered conversational information and you should not rely on these comments as legal advice or in place of retaining an attorney of our own. The comments here are based solely on what you have provided and therefore are general in nature and with more specific facts or details a different answer or outcome could result. The legal system is not a perfect science and this attorney does not guarantee any outcome.


He needs a DUI lawyer. If he gets stopped by the police he will be arrested. It would be much easier on him to have his lawyer contact the court and turn himself in. It is not uncommon for people to be afraid and fail to appear. Some Judges are just happy you finally came forward. Other Judges may put a high bond on him. In any event, he is facing a 2nd offense within 7 years and automatic revocation of his license, and at least 5 days in jail, so he should have a lawyer. As far a immigration, the charge is still only a misdemeanor. He should consult a separate counsel for that issue.

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