A DWI can affect your immigration status in Texas; however, the effects depend on the severity of your charges.
When Could a DWI Affect Your Immigration Status in Texas?
A single arrest and conviction for driving while intoxicated (DWI) with no aggravating factors will likely not lead to deportation.
There is a list of offenses in the Immigration and Nationality Act that could trigger deportation or green card revocation. This list does not include most drunk driving convictions.
However, many DWI incidents result in additional charges or have aggravating circumstances. In some of these cases, the criminal charges you face could affect your immigration status, up to and including deportation. This includes:
- A DWI while using or possessing illegal drugs,
- A DWI with a child in the car (can be seen as a crime of “moral turpitude,” grounds for ineligibility in the Immigration and Nationality Act)
It is also important to note that a DWI can lead to immigration and deportation proceedings if you are an undocumented immigrant. If you face any of the above charges or if you do not have the proper documentation to live and work in the United States, you will likely want to enlist the help of a Texas DWI attorney as soon as possible.
It is also important to note that a DWI arrest and conviction could affect your ability to obtain citizenship or get approved for deferred action, depending on the severity of the offense.
A DWI Conviction Can Hurt You in Some Immigration Applications
While you are unlikely to get deported or lose your work documentation for a single DWI conviction, there are some programs for immigrants that have different rules. A DWI could impact your eligibility for those programs.
Naturalization and citizenship and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) both use the phrase “good moral character” as a part of their qualifications. While a DWI conviction may not automatically prevent you from becoming a citizen or getting DACA, it could pose a problem. At the very least, it will be something you have to overcome to get approved.
A Drug-Related DWI Conviction Could Affect Your Immigration Status
While drinking and driving is a serious offense, a single incident is unlikely to derail your immigration status or getting your green card. However, Section 237 of the Immigration and Nationality Act strictly addresses those who have a conviction of a crime involving illegal drugs on their record.
If you are not drinking but instead impaired because of drug use, you could be deported, have your green card revoked, or become ineligible for a green card. If the police arrested you for driving while intoxicated on any type of controlled substance, do not delay in calling us. We can get to work on your case right away.
Let Our Team Take on Your Texas DWI
If you have concerns about your recent DWI arrest, the team from Eddington Worley can step in and help you navigate the criminal justice process. We can explain how your circumstances could affect your immigration status, and fight to mitigate the impact. We will review your case, collect evidence, and build a strong defense strategy to get a more favorable outcome.
This may include:
- Clearing your name in court
- Getting the charges dropped
- Negotiating an agreement for a lesser charge
- Negotiating a sentencing agreement that allows you to continue to work or go to school
Talk to a Texas DWI Defense Lawyer About Your Case Today
At Eddington Worley, our team is ready to take on your Texas drunk driving case. We understand your concerns about your immigration status and can answer your questions and protect your rights as well as fight the charges against you.
Call us today at 855-600-6695 to discuss your case with a member of our team.