Can A DUI Charge Affect Naturalization?

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Last Updated on February 12, 2024 by DALA Staff Writer

Liquer & Citizenship Don’t Mix Well

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to experience the benefits and privileges that being a full US citizen may have? Are you a foreigner yearning for the opportunity to enroll for the naturalization process? Is a DUI you obtained a while ago causing you sleepless nights and making you uneasy about whether you are still eligible to apply to be a full US citizen? Below is some information you may find useful. Since a DUI charge has quite a number or repercussions. This includes, but is not limited to your license being revoked for a year to having trouble keeping your citizenship as a new resident, and many other consequences that’s worth knowing the law for how to defend yourself.

Penalties for Drunk Driving

A DUI charge has quite a number or repercussions. This includes, but is not limited to your license being revoked for a year, and many other consequences which are listed on DUI offences (and which you are probably well aware of).

Naturalization, on the other hand, refers to a foreign-born person being granted citizenship. In simple terms, an immigrant can be awarded the rights and privileges a natural-born citizen may have, hence the term “naturalization”.

Benefits of Naturalization

There are many benefits of naturalization. But with great power comes great responsibility!

Of course there are certain terms and conditions that a person must adhere to in order for naturalization to be successful. The US Citizenship and Immigration Service delineate the guidelines that one needs to follow in order to be eligible for naturalization and the Path to Citizenship enlists all the qualifying criteria.

Obstacles in the Naturalization process

First and foremost, if a person does not meet the eligibility requirements posted on the Path to Citizenship, they do not qualify for naturalization. Also, if a person has been convicted of a crime such as murder in the past, their chances of becoming a citizen of the USA are even slimmer. However you should seek the help ofa qualified immigration attorney to navigate your way through the law system on immigration with a criminal record.

Can a DUI Charge affect naturalization?

Can I Get Citizenship With A DUI Or DWI Conviction? Provides a perfect answer to this question. The article states that so long a person is of good moral character then receiving citizenship with a DUI on your record (or even two for that matter) should not be a problem.

What can cause a lot of problems though (again as clearly stated in the article hyperlinked above) is “if the words “reckless” or “had knowledge” or “malicious” or “evil intent” are written in the drunk driving law of a state, the DUI conviction might cause citizenship to be denied.”

Therefore, in order to be eligible for naturalization (again defined simply as a giving an immigrant to a nation the rights and privileges of being a natural born citizen), you must be sure to be on your best behavior. Try your best not to get a DUI or a DWI (or a conviction for any other crime for that matter!)

Contact a DUI or Immigration Lawyer

If you find yourself in such a situation or have any further questions about the process of naturalization and any similar items, feel free to contact this guest author. All the contact information you need can be found in the author bio section or doing a simple search with your states local bar. However you should seek a qualafied immigration and or DUI lawyer to help you navigate the tricky immigration laws. As naturalization is one of the biggest life changing moves you can make and you don’t want one mistake or false drunk driving arrest to affect your chances. You can’t change that you have been arrested for a criminal charge like drunk driving. But what you can change is hopefully the outcome of the case at hand be defending yourself in the criminal and immigration hearing rooms.

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Guest Author by Christopher J McCann, a published book author, legal blogger, DUI lawyer & avid Univeristy of Michigan Go Blue fan. You can follow my legal tweet rants at @CJM_Law_Firm.

DALA Staff Writer
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