According to the
American Immigration Council (AIC), “Arizona has a growing population of immigrants, making up
more than 12 percent of the state’s residents.” The AIC goes
on to say that: “More than one in eight Arizona residents is an
immigrant, while nearly one in five is a native-born U.S. citizen with
at least one immigrant parent.” With that in mind, it’s understandable
why so many immigrants in Arizona would be nervous when they are arrested for
driving under the influence.
So, the question is, can a Green Card holder (lawful permanent resident)
be deported if they are convicted of driving under the influence of drugs
or alcohol in Arizona? It depends on the facts of the case. Read on as
we explore this issue in more detail.
Does DUI Lead to Automatic Removal Proceedings?
A simple, first-time DUI does not usually trigger removal proceedings;
however, it is possible for an immigrant to be deported after a DUI conviction.
Generally, a misdemeanor DUI will not lead to deportation, but a DUI can
lead to removal proceedings under the following circumstances:
It was a
The immigrant was charged with a
- The immigrant has a long history of criminal behavior.
- The immigrant caused serious bodily injury or death as a result of drunk
or drugged driving.
General Classes of Deportable Aliens are listed in the Immigration and Nationality Act, otherwise known as
the INA. In the INA, it explains which classes of aliens are deportable.
Some of these deportable aliens include those who have engaged in smuggling
or marriage fraud. It also includes aliens who have been convicted of
a crime involving a one year or longer sentence, aliens with multiple
criminal convictions, aliens who fail to register as a
sex offender, aliens who commit
drug offenses, and aliens who commit crimes of moral turpitude.
If you are facing DUI charges in Phoenix, the DUI may or may not lead to
removal proceedings. Much of it has to do with your criminal record, and
whether you hurt anyone while driving under the influence. Even if it
was a simple, first-time DUI, if you have multiple criminal convictions,
the DUI could be the final nail in the coffin and trigger removal proceedings.
If you’re facing DUI charges in Phoenix or Maricopa County,
contact our firm at once for a free case evaluation!