Immigration Concerns And A Texas DWI
There are many concerns that go through a person’s thoughts when they are pulled over for driving while intoxicated (DWI). These worries can be exacerbated if the traffic stop results in an arrest. A DWI charge can lead to fines, losing a driver’s licenses, and other issues, but if you are not a citizen you may also be concerned about your immigration status at the time of the arrest.
Talking to a lawyer who understands your options is a way to protect your rights. Discuss your situation with a Houston DWI lawyer to determine the best path forward.
DWIs and Permanent Residents
Permanent residents are immigrants who are legally living in the United States. They can stay for as long as they want to and are protected by law. In the event of a DWI, they will not be deported for the offense.
But, if a person is illegal, there can be the risk of deportation if they are charged with a crime. The issue is it depends on the type of charge. Some examples of deportable crimes include the following.
- Aggravated felonies
- Conviction for drugs
- Moral turpitude crimes
- Firearm and drug convictions
- Domestic violence
- Sabotage and treason
Of course, every situation is individually assessed.
The issue for many who are in the process of becoming a U.S. citizen is that they have to establish good moral character in the five years prior to the application process. If a person is charged with a DWI, it can upset the process of establishing oneself as a good candidate for citizenship.
Undocumented Immigrants and Deportation
And if you are undocumented, it is possible you will face deportation after being charged with a DWI in Texas. This is because undocumented immigrants can find themselves being deported at any time and an arrest will alert immigration enforcement of your status and where you are living.
In many situations, federal agents are prioritizing deporting repeat offenders or individuals who have committed serious offenses. A Houston DWI lawyer can assess your circumstances. While minor offenses are not as likely to prompt a deportation, the reality is there have been more aggressive deportation proceedings in recent years. Any immigrant that is undocumented is at risk and a DWI charge can lead to an undesired outcome.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) can also be impacted by a DWI charge. DACA residents are young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as babies, they are able to legally go to school and work. But in the event of a Texas DWI, a person’s DACA status could be revoked. If this happens, deportation could be possible.
Are you worried about your immigration status following a Texas DWI charge? It’s important you understand your rights. Our experienced legal team can defend you against criminal charges. We have the knowledge to protect you whether the alleged crime was minor or serious. Reach out to the legal team at Ayson Law Firm to understand your rights. Contact us today for a free consultation with a Houston criminal defense attorney today.