Can I become a US citizen if I am accused of DUI in California?

Becoming an American citizen is a dream shared by many individuals, hailing from many different countries across the world. People choose to immigrate to the United States for so many reasons, including freedom, prosperity, and the promises of democracy.

Becoming a citizen is a lengthy process that requires dedication, money, and the desire to remain in the United States legally. Unfortunately, there are thousands of individuals who do not have the resources to become citizens, or perhaps are afraid of being discovered for entering illegally in the first place. In short, regardless of the country one has chosen to leave and how they originally entered America, becoming a US citizen is quite the undertaking. [For a great read, check out our article, Consequences for DUI Under 21! here].

How are DUI and citizenship connected?

What does having good morals have to do with becoming a United States citizen, though? Well for one thing, the US would ideally like to help immigrants who not only follow the laws of the land, but encourage others to uphold the same tenets respectfully and decently. Driving while under the influence of any type of mind altering drug however, can threaten your ability to become a US citizen, both because it is against the law and because putting others’ lives at risk contradicts the very concept of being a citizen with “good character and morals.”

What happens if I am arrested for driving under the influence while trying to gain US citizenship?

As with many things in life, the answer to this question really depends. Mitigating factors include how many times you have been charged for driving under the influence, whether or not you are on probation for a DUI charge, and how willing the court is to adjust your probation period, since you cannot file for citizenship if you are on probation. Another significant factor in determining one’s eligibility for citizenship is whether or not you caused bodily harm during your DUI.

It is important to note that illegal or undocumented citizens in California, based on laws passed in 2015, can become legally licensed drivers, in spite of their non- citizenship or illegal status. The flip side of this dictates that said license holders can also be arrested for DUI’s. Undocumented citizens brought up on DUI charges that prove felonious may ultimately lose the privilege of filing for citizenship now or in the future, and could, depending on the nature of their crime, get them deported.

How can we help?

The laws surrounding citizenship are detailed and predicated on a host of “what if” situations. Additionally, the risks of being forced to go “back home” are odds many immigrant hopefuls do not wish to take. Because citizenship laws are so intricately intertwined with driving laws, it is to your greatest benefit that you secure with experienced attorney in immigration and vehicular law, and knows how the two interface.

The Hurwitz Law Group, Inc understands how golden the dream to live legally in the US is for so many individuals. The Hurwitz Law Group, Inc also understands that everyone, regardless of their status, deserves quality legal representation. If you are applying for citizenship or are in process of gaining legal status and are facing DUI charges, you need to call The Hurwitz Law Group, Inc today.

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