(360) 734-3847 |
LAW FIRM OF DAVID N. JOLLY
Immigration consequences for the non-American citizen is a large concern – if not the primary concern – for those charged with Driving Under the Influence, or any criminal act. Understanding the law and the consequences of a conviction should be the priority prior to any resolution of a case. The Law Firm of David N. Jolly always advises those affected individuals consult with an immigration attorney prior to the resolution of a criminal case.
Obviously a DUI in Bellingham, or anywhere in the State, is to be avoided, but when the DUI is amended the reduction to either Reckless Driving or Negligent Driving First Degree needs close examination if the defendant is not a citizen. The following is a summary of concerns to be identified when amending the DUI for a non-citizen.
Call for a Free Consultation: (360) 293-2275 • (425) 493-1115
Undocumented Person (UP):
●Entered illegally and never had status; or came lawfully with temporary visa (e.g. student or tourist) that has since expired.
●Identify how long been in the U.S. and any U.S. citizen or LPR family members.
Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR or green card holders) & Refugees:
●Face permanent loss of their lawful status and deportation.
Crime Involving Moral Turpitude (CIMT):
A crime involving moral turpitude (“CIMT”) has been vaguely defined as a depraved or immoral act, or a violation of the basic duties owed to fellow man, or recently as a “reprehensible act” with a mens rea of at least recklessness. Traditionally a CIMT involves intent to commit fraud, commit theft with intent to permanently deprive the owner, or inflict great bodily harm, as well as some reckless or malicious offenses and some offenses with lewd intent.
A noncitizen is deportable for one conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude (“CIMT”) if she committed the offense within five years of her last “admission” to the United States, and if the offense carries a potential sentence of one year.
NEGLIGENT DRIVING FIRST DEGREE
Negligent Driving is not a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT) and does not trigger the CIMT ground of inadmissibility or the CIMT ground of deportation.
Aggravated Felony (AF) crime of violence:
Negligent driving is not an AF, regardless of sentence.
No court has held that Reckless Driving is a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT). It is not currently prosecuted as a CIMT. However, there is a small risk that it could be. If it classified as a CIMT, it would trigger the CIMT inadmissibility ground. For LPRs this would result in obstacles to applying for citizenship and re-entering the country after travel abroad. Any 2 CIMTs will trigger a deportation ground. For UPs, a single CIMT could bar paths to lawful status. If UP client is applying for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a RD conviction is safer than DUI or Negligent Driving.
Crime relating to a controlled substance:
● Conviction of a law “relating to a controlled substance” (CS) triggers deportation & inadmissibility. A CS crime makes both LPRs & UPs removable and inadmissible.
● Marijuana is a Controlled Substance.
● ND1 for exhibiting the effects of a “drug” that is not a scheduled CS will not trigger the ground
If you are a non-citizen and have been charged with DUI in Bellingham, Whatcom County or anywhere in Washington State, please immediately contact our office. Further, we highly recommend you contact an immigration attorney to discuss your options and the potential immigration consequences.
Thanks to the Washington Defender Association’s Immigration Project
LAW FIRM OF DAVID N. JOLLY
218 W. Champion Street, Bellingham, WA 98225
Tel: (360) 734-3847 | (425) 493-1115
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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Further, if you are not a United States Citizens we strongly encourage consulting with an immigration attorney to determine how a criminal charge may affect your immigration status.