Most DWI lawyers, and criminal defense attorneys in general, have absolutely zero knowledge of the immigration consequences of the plea agreements that they ask their clients to agree to. The truth is that for the average DWI defendant, it does not matter if they plead guilty or no contest to a charge of Driving While Intoxicated. Unless there is a civil case associated with the charges, usually due to a car accident, these two pleadings have very little effect on the driver. Prosecutors on the other hand seek convictions, and the average DWI lawyer will use this as a tool in plea negotiations. Unfortunately, this comes at a cost to migrant clients who risk losing their current or future immigration status in the United States due to a conviction. The conviction may lead to issues for admissibility purposes as a “record of criminal arrests and/or convictions for alcohol-related driving incidents may constitute evidence of health-related inadmissibility as a physical or mental disorder with a associated harmful behavior.” 8 USCIS PM, Part B, Chap 7, B, 1. It can also be used as evidence of alcohol dependence which may be another ground of inadmissibility. And sometimes, Driving While Intoxicated with a revoked, suspended, or cancelled license may be a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude which raises even greater immigration concerns. The bottom line is that if you are an immigrant in this country, whether undocumented, a lawful permanent resident, or a visa holder, you need an attorney that understands the immigration consequences of your pleas, of your charges, and of the recommendations that they give to you. Armin Salek of the DWI Team has worked with migrants from around the world, helping them come to the United States lawfully, remain here, and stay on course toward citizenship. Much of his practice has involved assisting migrants who have been charged or convicted of criminal and immigration violations. If you want a DWI attorney who understands the immigration consequences of criminal charges, call 512 89 89 DWI and speak with Armin Salek of the DWI Team.
Absolutely! In Texas, intoxicated is defined as:
If you get arrested for Driving While Intoxicated, your license will be automatically suspended if you do not take immediate action before 15 days expire! This is a result of the 15-day deadline for requesting an Administrative License Revocation (ALR) hearing. Unlike your criminal case, this civil side of the DWI process cannot result in a conviction and only affects your license. Still, it is important to hire a DWI attorney for several reasons.