If you are immigrant, living in Texas through a visa or Green Card, you may be very concerned if you end up facing DUI charges. You know criminal convictions can impact your immigration status – perhaps now more than ever after the Trump administration’s crackdowns on immigration. Will you now face deportation after a DUI conviction?
Immigration law changes
One immigration law change in 2019 does affect immigrants who have drunk driving convictions. Now, if you have two DWI convictions, you no longer can fight deportation and no longer have “good moral character,” one of the requirements for gaining citizenship.
As part of this ruling from Attorney General William Barr, there is no distinction between if you have DWI misdemeanor or felony convictions. In Texas, most DWIs are misdemeanor offenses. You can face felony drunk driving charges after your third DWI offense, or if you seriously injure or kill someone else while driving drunk.
Most often, immigrants with one DWI don’t face deportation.
What to do when facing a DWI charge
If you are facing a DWI charge and are concerned about how it will impact your immigration status, you should contact a criminal defense attorney. Drunk driving charges are the most common crime immigrants face and you have a right to present a strong defense. Also, circumstances surrounding your arrest may warrant reducing your charges or dismissing them, lessening the impact toward your immigration status.