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Will you get deported if you get a DUI?

On Behalf of | Jun 26, 2023 | Immigration Law

According to the Texas Department of Transportation, DUIs caused 23% of fatal car accidents in 2021. Drunk driving is a serious offense in the state of Texas, and a DUI conviction has heavy implications, especially for immigrants. The impacts of such a conviction extend beyond fines, possible jail time and license suspension, potentially affecting one’s immigration status.

It is important to note that while not every crime leads to deportation, certain criminal offenses, including DUI under specific circumstances, can place an immigrant’s status in jeopardy.

Understanding deportation

In general, a single DUI conviction may not directly lead to deportation, especially if it is a first offense. However, this largely depends on the specifics of the case and the individual’s immigration status.

If the DUI conviction involves aggravated factors, it could lead to deportation. Aggravated factors may include injury or death to another person, substantial property damage or a DUI conviction alongside another criminal offense. Furthermore, repeat DUI offenses can also raise red flags with immigration authorities and might potentially lead to deportation proceedings.

The impact on immigration applications

A DUI conviction can also affect future immigration applications. Under U.S. immigration law, “good moral character” is a requirement for certain immigration benefits, including naturalization. A DUI conviction, particularly repeated offenses, can call into question this requirement, possibly leading to a denial of the application.

In addition, if the individual leaves the country, reentry might become more complicated with a DUI conviction on record. Immigration authorities could deem the person inadmissible, barring them from returning to the United States.

While a single DUI conviction might not necessarily lead to deportation for an immigrant in Texas, it can cause serious complications. Staying informed about these matters can help individuals navigate their way through the complexities of the immigration system in the event of a DUI conviction.