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Can a drunk driving conviction lead to deportation from the U.S.?

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2024 | Crimmigration

If you are an immigrant in the United States facing drunk driving charges, you may be wondering if you will face deportation if found guilty. Well, it depends. There is a possibility you could be deported if convicted, as explained below.

Certain offenses, collectively referred to as crimes of moral turpitude, can trigger deportation proceedings. Generally, these are offenses involving conduct considered contrary to accepted moral standards or reprehensible acts involving intent or recklessness.

You can be deported for two or more convictions of these crimes that occur at any time after admission to the U.S. or one conviction that occurs within five years of your admission if the offense carries a potential sentence of one year or more.

The particulars of your case matter

Whether your drunk driving offense is considered a crime of moral turpitude depends on the specifics of the case. It may or may not meet this threshold. For instance, a simple drunk driving offense, especially for a first-time offender, may not necessarily result in deportation upon conviction. However, certain aggravating factors may increase the likelihood of deportation. These include excessively high blood alcohol content (BAC) levels, reckless driving, prior convictions or if you caused an accident resulting in injury or death.

Do not take unnecessary chances

As an immigrant facing criminal charges, it’s best to seek legal right away assistance to more effectively navigate the ins and outs of your case, understand the potential immigration consequences and determine what you can do to minimize the risk of deportation. For instance, you can potentially avoid deportation by pleading guilty to a lesser offense or successfully beating your charges.

Remember, each case is unique, and the outcome depends on many factors. Seeking proper guidance can significantly increase the odds of a favorable result and help protect your interests.