Can I Be Deported for DUI?
“Florida has long been home to a large number of immigrants, many of whom hail from the Caribbean. One in five residents in the state is an immigrant, together making up more than a fourth of Florida’s labor force. As workers, business owners, taxpayers, and neighbors, immigrants are an integral part of Florida’s diverse and thriving communities and make extensive contributions that benefit all,” according to the American Immigration Council.
The American Immigration Council continues to explain how one in five Florida residents is an immigrant and how in 2015, the sunshine state had 4.1 million immigrants, making up 20.2 percent of the state’s population.
Considering the large number of immigrants in Florida, it’s understandable why some of them would get arrested here and there, especially for driving under the influence (DUI), which is one offense that is committed by everyday citizens who are non-criminals.
Can a DUI Lead to Removal Proceedings?
For immigrants to be in the United States on a visa or with a Green Card, they are expected to be honest, law-abiding citizens who follow the laws of the United States. Whenever an immigrant is a non-citizen, he or she can face removal proceedings if they break the state or federal laws of the U.S.
“Can I be deported for DUI?” is a question that many Florida residents ask and for good reason. Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), there are several grounds for deportation, including but not limited to:
- Domestic violence
- Drug crimes
- Sexual assault (rape)
- Immigration fraud
- Marriage fraud
- Crimes of moral turpitude (e.g. child pornography, aggravated assault, manslaughter, etc.)
- Multiple criminal convictions
- Certain weapons offenses
If you notice, we didn’t include DUI under Section 316.193 of the Florida Statutes on the above list. While a DUI does not normally trigger removal proceedings, it is possible. Generally, a first DUI without any aggravating factors will not lead to removal proceedings.
However, when a DUI charge becomes questionable is when it is a drug-related DUI, when it’s a felony DUI, or when the defendant has a history of criminal convictions and the DUI simply pushes the immigration judge over the edge.
If you’re a non-U.S. citizen and you’re facing DUI charges, contact Albaugh Law Firm to schedule a case evaluation with a skilled member of our legal team!