A Key West DUI Defense Lawyer Explains What a Drunk Driving Conviction Could Mean for Your Future in the United States

You have more at stake than many people arrested for drunk driving in Key West. Like everyone else, you face the potential consequences of jail time, fines, and a driver’s license suspension. However, if you are seeking United States citizenship, a DUI conviction could impact your immigration status and future plans. 

Now is the time to contact an experienced Key West DUI defense lawyer who can protect your rights and make sure you are treated fairly. Attorney Robert David Malove is board-certified as an expert/specialist in criminal trial law and offers free consultations to people accused of drunk driving in Key West.

How a Key West DUI Conviction Could Impact Your Immigration Status

Any criminal conviction can change your immigration plans, but a DUI conviction is particularly concerning. Drunk driving is a serious offense. The government may look at your DUI conviction and determine that you recklessly endangered lives on the road. No matter your current immigration status, a DUI conviction could shatter your dream of becoming an American citizen.

Temporary Visa Holders 

You may be in Florida on a temporary visa, such as a tourist, student, or work visa. Deportation, being barred from re-entering the U.S., and visa renewal complications are all potential consequences if you are convicted of drunk driving while in the United States on a temporary visa.

Green Card Holders

Even permanent residents (green card holders) aren't immune to the immigration consequences of a drunk driving conviction. You could face deportation proceedings, especially if you are convicted of an enhanced DUI. The law may deem your DUI conviction a crime of moral turpitude or an aggravated felony, which are both deportable offenses.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) 

Dreamers convicted of drunk driving in the Keys may have their protected status removed, and removal procedures may begin. Your hard-won privilege to stay in the United States may be lost.

Temporary Protected Status 

If you’ve been granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to escape an unsafe homeland, you also risk losing the protection of being in the United States after a drunk driving conviction. Depending on the circumstances, your TPS benefits may be revoked, and you may be deported. 

Asylum and Refugee Roadblocks

Your first drunk driving conviction will not automatically disqualify you from asylum or refugee protection. However, it could be a complicating factor in your case.

Undocumented Immigrants

If you are in the United States without documentation, you face the greatest risk of deportation because of a drunk driving conviction. The government often prioritizes deporting undocumented immigrants with criminal records. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may become involved in your case if the police or court alert them to the situation or court records are scanned for potential undocumented immigrants.

Don’t Let a Drunk Driving Conviction End Your American Dream - Contact Our Key West DUI Attorney Now

The naturalization examiner who is considering your United States citizenship may take your first DUI conviction into account. While your first drunk driving offense is not an automatic bar to citizenship, it may be evidence of your moral character and could keep you from becoming a citizen.

If you have two or more DUIs on your record, then the government presumes you lack good moral character and it is up to you to prove otherwise.

Whether you’ve decided to make South Florida or the Keys your home, you deserve to be treated fairly. Your American Dream shouldn’t end because of a mistake. 

It’s essential to contact an experienced Key West DUI defense lawyer at The Law Offices of Robert David Malove as soon as possible after your DUI arrest to learn about your rights and defense. Everyone is equal before the law, and you deserve an experienced lawyer. Mr. Malove is a founding member of the National College for DUI Defense and one of the top drunk driving defense lawyers in the United States. He has represented hundreds of DUI defense clients, and each one is more than a number to him. He takes the time to understand what you have at stake and thoroughly protects your rights. 

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