If you are a lawful permanent resident, your green card demonstrates that you are allowed to live and work in the United States permanently, however, you are still not a U.S. citizen. Meaning, even though you are a permanent resident, you can still be deported or “removed” if you commit certain crimes.
Can you be deported because of a DWI? In some cases – yes. But, your green card won’t be revoked automatically after a DWI, first you would have to go to immigration court and participate in the court’s removal proceedings.
At court, you want an attorney present, preferably one who is well-versed in both deportation and criminal defense. At court, your lawyer would defend you in front of an immigration judge, who would decide whether your green card should be revoked and if you should be deported.
Texas DWIs and Deportation
Generally, if it’s an immigrant’s first DWI offense, it won’t subject them to deportation. But that’s only if it’s a simple first DWI with no aggravating factors. For example, if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was .09% and there was no accident, and it was your first offense, you probably would not be deported.
Still though, a DWI can subject a green card holder to deportation. It all depends upon whether there were aggravating factors present, such as:
- The DWI was drug-related
- The immigrant was driving on a suspended or revoked license
- There was a child under 15 years old in the car
- The DWI involved bodily injury or death
- It was the driver’s third DWI offense (third DWI is a felony)
- The immigrant was previously convicted of a crime of moral turpitude
If you were arrested for DWI and any of the above factors were present, you could be facing deportation. As a general rule, if your DWI was a felony, or if you have been convicted of felonies in the past, or if your DWI involved a controlled substance (drugs), you may have a deportability problem.
Usually, a DWI is a felony if someone was injured or killed, or if it’s the driver’s third or subsequent DWI offense. In Texas, a DWI accident involving injury is prosecuted as intoxication assault, and if someone was killed, it’s prosecuted as intoxication manslaughter, both of which can lead to deportation.
If the DWI was a bad enough incident, it’s not unheard of for USCIS to consider the immigrant for deportation.
If you are facing DWI charges and are concerned about deportation, contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC for the high-caliber legal representation you need and deserve!