One of the most significant consequences that a DUI conviction may have on your life is that it may change your immigration status. When it comes to Immigration law, the Immigration Judge has a great amount of discretion on his decision as it is not objectively outlined in the Naturalization and Immigration Act.
While many drug offenses and more serious criminal offenses will most likely lead to deportation or revocation of your status, a DUI is much more subjective. The Judge will decide based on several factors if the DUI will prevent you from obtaining or maintaining your status. He or she will often consider your criminal record, how long you have been in the United States, your family situation, job history as well as other aspects of your life.
If you only have one DUI on your record and nothing else, chances are it won’t have much of an effect on your Immigration Status. However, if you are on your third DUI and were on probation, the Judge will seriously consider deportation or terminating your status as either a citizen or Legal Permanent Resident.
The best way to assure your immigration status remains protected is to reduce or dismiss the DUI itself. Criminal court is very different from Immigration court and the Immigration Judge does not have the ability to reduce your DUI charges. Hiring an experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney will ensure that someone who knows the field very well can provide a powerful defense in order to give you the best possible chance of having your charge dropped or reduced.
Keep in mind that a simple DUI conviction can affect many aspects of your life. Having your immigration status reconsidered is something you want to avoid at all costs.