Individuals who have immigrated into the United States may have a general understanding that being convicted of a crime can lead to their deportation, but some may be unsure as to what type of offense can have a significant impact on their immigration status. Although minor violations such as speeding or running a red light will not result in deportation for those who lawfully reside in the U.S., being caught driving drunk with a minor in the vehicle can have its own set of consequences.
Crimes of Moral Turpitude
In order to risk deportation, the individual in question must commit an offense that is considered a “crime of moral turpitude” (CMT) or an aggravated felony. Moral turpitude simply refers to the legal concept of conduct that goes against the “community standards of justice, honesty, or good morals.” Although a “simple” DWI is not necessarily considered a CMT, there are a number of factors that can quickly aggravate the crime, including having a child in the vehicle while driving drunk. Although consequences for such offenses vary on a case-by-case basis, any non-citizen who finds themselves facing a CMT should not hesitate to speak to an attorney immediately.
Depending on what your lawyer recommends, your defense options can include the following:
- Challenging the accusation that you were drunk: The prosecution must prove that the offender was intoxicated beyond reasonable doubt.
- Negotiate an agreement to safeguard your immigration status: In some cases, your attorney will negotiate a plea on your behalf that avoids penalizing your immigration. If this the route you choose to take, it’s absolutely crucial that you speak to an attorney who understands how criminal and immigration law interact.
Offering Excellent Service With an Excellent Reputation
As a Hidalgo County criminal defense attorney, Rene A. Flores handles a wide range of cases, including DWI/DUI, drug crimes, and theft crimes. Clients who come to the firm can trust that each case is prepared to win – Attorney Flores is committed to mastering his craft in trial litigation. If you’re accused or are being investigated for a criminal offense, we strongly urge you to put our firm on your side.
We’re ready to hear your side of the story. Call Attorney Rene A. Flores at (956) 606-3606 to request your free phone consultation.