What do you do if you get a DUI / DWI and are illegal? A friend of mine recently got pulled over in California for not stopping correctly at a stop sign. The cop found out that my friend had had some beers and arrested him. However, my friend didn't spend the night in jail. He was just taken in to the police station to answer a few questions and he was released that same night. I've heard that he will have to spend at least a year in jail and after he completes his sentence he will get deported. Is that true? Also, will this DUI affect him later on if he tries to fix his residence here in the U.S.? When an immigrant gets a DUI what should he do?
While being convicted for a DUI does not by itself make a person deportable from the US, it will bring your friend to the attention of immigration. He faces potential deportation because he is in the US illegally. The length of any jail sentence will be determined by the criminal or traffic court. Conviction for a DUI will have an affect on his ability to gain residency in the future. It is also considered a serious misdemeanor by immigration for consideration under the new dream act policy.
The answer provided here is general in nature and does not take into account other factors that may need to be reviewed for a more precise answer. You should consult with an immigration attorney before taking any action. The answer here is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.
Criminal Defense Attorney
Something is missing from these facts. People don't usually get a year in jail for a first DU which is what would cause an illegal immigrant to get deported. Generally, a misdemeanor DUI may cause complications, but won't get you deported even if you're an immigrant that is here illegally. A year in jail could lead to a deportation.
This content is informational only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
Criminal Defense Attorney
Whether you can get deported for a isn't the right question because a DUI by itself doesn't mean anything for an illegal immigrant. However, if your friend is not here legally and he does any jail custody at all, he will have an ICE hold placed on him, which will result in removal proceedings. So, to avoid deportation, he has to stay out of jail custody. On a first DUI that should be possible. He should have a good DUI attorney fighting for him.
Other than the small subset of people that are looking for the recent Obama-announce work permits, a DUI carries no immigration consequences.