What happens if you are an immigrant and you’re convicted of DUI? Even though the rights of immigrants have recently been expanded – especially in California – you’re going to face more consequences than U.S. citizens who are convicted of DWI. The specifics will depend on your immigration status.

If you are a lawful permanent resident (a “green card” holder), a California DWI conviction probably will not – in most cases – impact your immigration status. Your case may differ; it largely depends on the circumstances. You could be categorized as “inadmissible” if your conviction is related to substance abuse. If the DUI was related to another crime that’s a ground for deportability (such as rape, murder, arson, or drug sales), your conviction will probably lead to removal proceedings. If you are an immigrant holding a visa with an expiration date, you’ll probably be unable to leave the United States before your criminal case is fully concluded. A DWI conviction will probably make you “inadmissible” to the United States in the future. If you are an undocumented immigrant, a misdemeanor DUI may not lead directly to deportation, but it will have negative long-term consequences for admissibility and naturalization.

If you’re an immigrant in southern California and you are charged with DWI , you face somewhat more legal difficulty than a citizen facing the same charge. Get the legal help you need and call an experienced Orange County DWI defense attorney at once. A good DUI defense lawyer will fight hard to help you avoid a conviction that could put you at risk for removal. He or she will investigate the details of your case, compile evidence, interview witnesses on your behalf, and protect your legal rights. If you’re charged with DWI in southern California, now or in the future, call an experienced Orange County DUI defense attorney immediately.