If you have applied for U.S. citizenship in Maryland and get charged with a DUI, your application could be at risk. Although getting one DUI does not ensure denial of your citizenship application, multiple DUIs might. We often mount a strong defense and aggressively protect the immigration status of our clients.
Per the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services, individuals who want to become U.S. citizens must show that they are a person of good moral character for the five years leading up to the naturalization application.
Good moral character for citizenship
As it pertains to becoming a U.S. citizen, good moral character means that you are an honest, respectable, law-abiding member of the community. This typically means that you have refrained from committing aggravated crimes, lying and violating controlled substance laws.
If you have committed a crime of moral turpitude, your good moral character becomes questionable. These crimes include the following:
- Assault with intent to commit murder
- Child Abuse
- Felony hit and run
DUI and good moral character
If you have two or more convictions of driving while intoxicated, the consequences could include deportation and becoming inadmissible. The court may view one conviction as a mistake or bad judgment call. However, if you have more than one, your good moral character becomes questionable. Other crimes that could put your application at risk for denial include speeding, distracted driving, theft, vandalism and trespassing.
Being arrested and charged with a DUI is overwhelming for most people. An experienced immigration law attorney can ensure clients understand their options under the criminal justice system.