Immigrants who are not U.S. citizens, whether they are present in the U.S. with no legal immigration status or hold legal permanent residence or green cards, can face deportation for various reasons. A conviction for some crimes, including DWI, could trigger removal proceedings.
Any convictions for drug crimes, offenses related to firearms, aggravated felonies, or crimes of “moral turpitude” could subject you to deportation. Although a single DWI conviction with no factors that would increase the sentencing would not necessarily have an impact on your immigration status, there are situations in which a DWI conviction might cause deportation proceedings.
For instance, some aggravating circumstances might result in a felony charge. If you have a child under the age of 15 in the vehicle at the time of the offense, you can face felony DWI charges. Likewise, if you cause an accident resulting in significant bodily injury or death in the course of committing a DWI, you can face felony charges. These charges might qualify as “aggravated felonies” that could trigger deportation.
Likewise, if you have multiple DWI convictions over time, the charges and penalties may increase with each successive conviction. This situation also could result in an “aggravated felony” conviction that might result in removal from the U.S. if you are not a citizen.
If you already hold a green card and want to apply for citizenship, you also may encounter difficulties if you have a DWI conviction. A successful application for naturalization requires that you show proof of “good moral character” for the last five years. Individuals who have been convicted of a DWI within the previous five years may be unable to obtain citizenship as a result. If you or a family member is facing weapons charges or any other criminal charges, we may be able to help.
As experienced Texas criminal defense attorneys, we have the knowledge needed to help you navigate through often-complex criminal proceedings. Call us today at (512) 399-2311 and schedule an appointment with one of our criminal defense lawyers and learn how we can assist you.