If you are arrested, charged, and convicted for driving under the influence (DUI) in South Carolina, you may face jail time, monetary penalties, and a driver’s license suspension. However, if you are attempting to obtain a green card in the United States, or already have a green card in the United States, a DUI arrest may affect your immigration status.
Existing Green Cards
In most cases, depending on the facts and circumstances, a first offense DUI will likely not significantly impact your current Green Card status. However, if you are undocumented in the United States and receive jail time for your DUI, there is a greater chance that you may be placed in removal proceedings by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). periodically you will have to update your immigration application which will include whether or not you have received any criminal charges.
While a DUI does not automatically prevent someone from receiving or updating their Green Card, having a DUI conviction on your record could affect the good moral character requirement of an immigration application. Therefore, if you were recently arrested or charged a DUI in the state of South Carolina and are close to the renewal of your immigration status, speaking with an experienced attorney can help you reduce your DUI charges so that it will not affect your immigration status.
Applications for Green Cards
If you are in the process of attempting to obtain a green card in the United States, you will be required to answer whether or not you have any convictions in your history. Your criminal history will include any DUIs that are on your record. It is important to note that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has a great deal of discretion regarding applications for immigration. Every situation has its own set of unique circumstances. However, it is possible that a DUI conviction could prevent you from receiving a green card.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
If you were arrested and charged with any type of DUI in South Carolina and are concerned about your green card status or your green card application, visiting with an experienced attorney can help you understand how your DUI charges can be reduced, or in some cases dismissed. Visit with an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible to help you understand your legal options. Contact a strong criminal defense attorney at David Aylor Law Offices today at (843) 212-2684 or online.
David Aylor is a Criminal Defense Attorney who practices in Charleston, Walterboro, and Myrtle Beach, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 11 years. David Aylor believes in defending the accused. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.