Immigrants wanting to become permanent U.S. residents already have a lot to endure. But the obstacles can become much more challenging if they are charged with driving under the influence.
First-time offenses don’t always lead to deportation. However, some DUI cases can bring on extra penalties which could put those accused at higher risk.
Instances where a DUI could increase risk of deportation
This is when getting a DUI could put immigrants in danger of being deported:
- The driver charged had prior convictions: The circumstances often vary when it comes to a single DUI conviction. But if they’ve received multiple charges, their chances of getting deported could be higher.
- The driver was well above the legal limit: In Pennsylvania, drivers are considered legally impaired when their BAC level is between .08% and .099%. If someone blows above .099% and is found guilty, the penalties can increase, even if it was a first-time charge.
- They are caught driving with a revoked license: In many cases, licenses can be suspended after a first-time DUI conviction. Whether or not the suspect was under the influence, driving with license restrictions is considered to be illegal.
- Children were in the vehicle: Those caught intoxicated with minors in the vehicle could be charged with child abuse or endangerment on top of a DUI.
- Injury or death occurs: If the impaired driver injures or kills someone in a collision, they could face extra charges including manslaughter.
A DUI can be a serious offense
While every immigrant’s circumstances are different, DUI charges can make the path to citizenship more difficult. For those worried about how their charge could impact their access to citizenship status, an experienced immigration attorney in Pennsylvania can help evaluate the evidence of the case and defend them in court.