Can I Be Deported for a Florida DUI?
West Palm Beach is beautiful and one of the great things about the area is the fact that our culture has been enriched by immigrants. Immigration has influenced our food, our music, our colors and design, our local businesses and our community. But anyone who comes to Florida or America for that matter, is at risk of removal proceedings unless they successfully complete the naturalization process and become a U.S. citizen.
One issue is driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol and drugs. DUI is one of the most common offenses committed by everyday citizens, who are non-criminals. If you are a Green Card holder and you were recently arrested for DUI, you’re probably wondering, “Can I be deported if I’m convicted of DUI?” This is a perfectly reasonable question and I assure you, it comes up a lot. Read on as I explain.
Are You at Risk of Being Removed from the U.S.?
As a general rule, lawful permanent residents (Green Card holders) are not deported because of DUI, but that does NOT mean it’s not possible. It all depends on the facts of your case. While a simple, first-time DUI without aggravating factors won’t normally trigger removal proceedings, a felony DUI or a drug-related DUI certainly can.
In Florida, a third DUI within a period of 10 years is a felony, and a fourth DUI is a felony. A DUI involving serious bodily injury or death is also a felony offense under Florida law.
Green Card holders are at risk of deportation when:
- They are convicted of felony DUI.
- They are convicted of a drug-related DUI.
- They had a prior conviction for marijuana possession and the immigration judge was lenient with them.
Deportable offenses are covered under Section 237 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). While a DUI may or may not trigger removal proceedings, some of the criminal offenses that can lead to deportation include:
- Robbery and burglary
- Theft-related crimes
- Domestic violence
- Drug-related crimes
- Fraud-related crimes
- Human trafficking
- Assault and aggravated assault
- Sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault
Are you a Green Card holder who is facing criminal charges in West Palm Beach? If so, my advice is to contact my firm as soon as possible to fully explore your legal defenses. Let me shed light on your situation so you can fully understand what you’re up against.