I have a green card and I was convicted of my second DUI a year ago. I now have two dui's within five years. I successfully completed dui court. Will I have any problems with immigration officials upon re entering the u.s.? I am no longer on probation and the was not any accidents or anyone injured due to my DUI
You may face a problem because this is your 2nd misdemeanor conviction. Your green card may be in jeopardy. You need an immigration attorney to examine your court paperwork and advise you on your specific case.
You need to obtain the court dispositions of the two convictions and visit a qualified and experienced immigration attorney in your state who can then assess the immigration consequences of those convictions. I suggest that you not travel abroad at this time. Good luck to you.
Based on the facts you have offered you will not have any problem as long as you complete any probation or sentence before leaving the USA. Leaving without completing your sentence could result in a warrant.
The first thing that you need to be aware of is that having a criminal conviction on record can lead to a denial of reentry into the United States, or removal or deportation from the United States.
Also, be aware that a DUI record of arrest, criminal charge, and conviction may affect your status as an immigrant in the United States. You need to understand that when you were arrested, fingerprints and photographs of you were taken and registered in the national database. This record is permanent and will be referenced every time you make an application for an immigration benefit -- for example applies for work authorization, visa renewal, asylum, adjustment of status, naturalization, or admission into the United States with a refugee travel document, or a green card (which is your case now).
As it relates to your case, the immigration consequences of your plea or conviction usually depend on specific facts of the crime, your prior violations (if any, and you have another DUI), and where you are in the immigration process. As to your case, there are three main consequences of your DUI convictions: deportation, denial of admissibility into the United States and denial of citizenship when you apply for citizenship.
Recent decisions of the immigration and federal courts clearly demonstrate that having a DUI conviction on an immigrant client's record can be very damaging. Under certain circumstances, a DUI conviction may be considered as a Crime of Violence. See for instance Leocal v. Ashcroft, where the issue before the Supreme Court was whether a DUI crime is a crime of violence (deportable offense) for the purposes of an aggravated felony conviction. You are not in that category, but others with a DUI may be in that predicament. A DUI conviction may also be considered as a Crime of Moral Turpitude. See Hernandez-Perez v. Holden, where the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals found that a conviction under Iowa's DUI statute coupled with a conviction for child endangerment (the child was in the car) was a crime of moral turpitude preventing Hernandez-Perez from seeking cancellation of removal. Therefore, it is important to hire an experienced immigration attorney to advise the client during DUI plea negotiations.
As my colleagues have noted, take your conviction records to an immigration attorney for assessment before travel.
Attorney Robert Brown's (former INS Director, 1972-99) reply to your question is general in nature, and does not constitute legal advice as all facts are known to him. For specific advice or representation you should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law. Mr. Brown's reply on AVVO does not create an attorney/client relationship not constitute legal advice.
We would need more information in order to adequately answer your questions. I agree with the other attorneys. You should get your court records asap and see an immigration attorney. Also, you should definitely comply with any court ordered fines and/or rehabilitative programs as a result of the DUI convictions. I suggest you see an attorney before traveling.
I have handled dozens of DUI cases with non citizens. In my experience the only trouble seems to come when you are charged and convicted of a felony. Since your two DUIs were misdemeanors i think you will be ok. I have never had any of my non citizen clients run into trouble with immigration for misdemeanors.
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