Are you in the United States on a visa? Or, are you a lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder) who is living and working in the US? Either way, you may be wondering if a conviction for driving while intoxicated (DWI) under Section 49.04 of the Texas Penal Code can lead to removal proceedings.
For starters, DWI is a very common offense that is committed by people from all types of backgrounds and educational levels – a lot of the people who find themselves facing DWI charges do not have criminal records from before the DWI arrest. It is also not uncommon for non-US citizens to find themselves charged with DWI. In these situations, almost every immigrant charged with DWI wants to know if the DWI can lead to removal proceedings.
Texas DWI & Deportation
Whenever someone is in the US and they are not a US citizen, they can be removed from the country for bad behavior. While in the US, visa and Green Card holders are expected to abide by US state and federal laws, and if they violate one of the US laws, they face the possibility of deportation, which is now called “removal proceedings.”
Not all crimes lead to removal proceedings, but much of it has to do with the seriousness of the offense and the offender’s criminal history. For example, certain crimes almost, if not always, automatically trigger removal proceedings, such as:
- Child abuse
- Domestic violence
- Sexual assault (rape)
- Drug crimes
- Fraud-related crimes
- Immigration fraud
- Document fraud
- Violent crimes
What about DWI? Will a DWI offense cause a Green Card holder to be placed into removal proceedings? It depends. If it was a misdemeanor DWI and it was the offender’s first criminal offense ever, it is unlikely that it will lead to removal proceedings. On the other hand, if it was a felony DWI, or if they have a prior drug conviction, or if it was a drug-related DWI, or if the offender has a history of criminal convictions, it is possible (if not probable) that the DWI will cause an immigration judge to place the defendant in removal proceedings.
If you are an immigrant facing DWI charges in Dallas, or if you have a loved one who is, contact DWI Attorney Peter Barrett for a free case evaluation.