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Can a Texas DUI Lead to Deportation?

According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), “Each year TxDOT sponsors a statewide campaign to raise awareness in the Hispanic community about the dangers of drinking and driving and to promote sober driver designation. Over 35 percent of the state’s population is Hispanic.”

“In 2014, young Hispanic males comprised 49 percent of all statewide male drivers, ages 17-34, involved in impaired driving crashes,” which led to 275 fatalities and 605 serious injuries, according to TxDOT. While TxDOT places emphasis on Hispanic drivers in Texas because they claim so much of the population, this post applies to all lawful permanent residents or Green Card holders, regardless of their nation of origin.

Texas DWIs and Removal Proceedings

Suppose “John,” a Green Card holder, is arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI) in Plano, Texas. The night he was arrested for DWI, he stayed in the jail. The next morning, John’s wife went to bail John out, but she couldn’t because she learned there was an immigration hold on her husband. John has been in Texas since he was a child, but he has yet to obtain citizenship.

The DWI was a misdemeanor, and he does not have any felonies on his record. The authorities were going to clear John’s hold, but they discovered a marijuana possession conviction (misdemeanor offense) from a couple years back.

Now John and his family are wondering, will he be deported? When John was first convicted of possessing a small amount of marijuana for personal use, he probably was not a deportation priority, but now that he is facing yet another criminal conviction, it could become an issue for an immigration judge. If it was a simple alcohol-related DWI and he had NO prior convictions, deportation would be unlikely.

If you or someone you love is in a similar situation as John’s, you should contact an immigration attorney at once who also practices criminal defense, like The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC. Since deportation is a possibility in the case of a prior drug-related conviction, it’s critical to seek representation. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!