Tag Archives: dui defense attorney

Will a DUI Affect my Visa, Green Card, or Citizenship Application?

Becoming a US citizen is an arduous, time-consuming process. Even getting a visa or becoming a permanent resident with a “green card” can take time, and there’s a lot of administrative work involved. The last thing you need on the way to becoming a law-abiding US citizen is to break the law. But if you’ve done just that with a DUI, it could impact your immigration status. A strong criminal defense attorney can defend you in court against a DUI.

Gaining US Entry

Will a DUI Affect my Visa, Green Card, or Citizenship Application?

The US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) is a division of Homeland Security, and now manages entry into the United States. Their services include citizenship and permanent residency, including naturalization, bringing foreign family members of US citizens into the US, assisting with foreign adoptions and relocating foreign persons into the US after wars and disasters. They also assist people wishing to work in the US with HB-1 visas.

USCIS examines not only your application but your character. A single DUI conviction will not necessarily bar you from citizenship or a green card. But if a DUI is not your first, or it’s combined with another crime or crimes, (such as drug possession) you may very well lose your visa, green card status, or have your citizenship application disqualified. You will likely also be deported.

Medical Conditions

One of the many determining factors for US admission is a person’s health and medical conditions. As a medical condition, alcoholism can be grounds for denying US admission and would be a separate ground for disqualification.

Full Disclosure

You should always disclose a DUI when asked, particularly on your N-400 application. If you don’t, it will show up during a criminal background check anyway. Lying on your citizenship application will increase the chances it will be declined.

Immigration officials take DUI very seriously because it is a serious crime. You will be asked about the DUI and any mitigating factors, such as harm to anyone else in the car or if children were in the car with you. North Carolina also has some of the strictest DUI laws in the US.

Some things that will prevent you from getting a visa, green card or citizenship status include:

  • Crimes of ”moral turpitude,” that is, crimes that display a lack of “good moral character
  • Violations of controlled substances (drug) laws, either of the US or another country
  • Numerous criminal convictions that brought prison sentences of five years or more, whether singly or together
  • Participating in or benefitting in any way from:
    • Illegal drug trafficking, inside or outside the US
    • Human trafficking, inside or outside the US
  • Money laundering
  • Prostitution

Any one of these crimes, combined with a DUI or two will affect your application. You can review the list of disqualifications for permanent residency and citizenship at the USCIS website. Your immigration attorney can help you sort through your application, review any potential issues and help you resolve them. You’ll need a criminal defense attorney to help you with a DUI.

Form I-192

If you are barred from entering the US for one of the above inadmissibility criteria, you can file an I-192 Waiver for “Forgiveness of Inadmissibility.” While it is not a guarantee, should you find yourself deemed “inadmissible” as a result of a DUI, you can ask for forgiveness to enter the US. However, this form is for non-immigrants only, and not for individuals who intend to stay in the US and live here.

Legal Defense For DUI

If you’ve been arrested for DUI, and don’t know where to turn, call us for help. Dewey P. Brinkley is a former Wake County Assistant District Attorney and has worked with many individuals to reduce their penalties or acquit them. Call him at 919-832-0307 to schedule your free consultation. He will aggressively defend you in court. (Note: Dewey P. Brinkley is a criminal defense attorney, and does not practice immigration law.)

Distracted Driving And The Law—What You Should Know In Raleigh

While drunk driving gets a lot of attention, intoxicated persons are not the only dangerous drivers on the road.

Distracted Driving And The Law—What You Should Know In RaleighDistracted driving—especially texting while driving—causes a fair number of accidents by itself. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that nearly 3,500 people in the US were killed in 2015 by distracted drivers, and 391,000 are injured in the same way every year.

Teenage drivers are the largest group of offenders, but every day over 660,000 people in the US are doing something else while they’re driving in broad daylight:

·         Talking on their cell phone

·         Texting/emailing using their cell phone

·         Eating/drinking

·         Adjusting the stereo or another entertainment system

·         Other tasks that take attention away from driving

North Carolina’s “It Can Wait” campaign, as well as tougher new laws, aren’t having the positive effect officials hoped it would. That means a lot of people are still driving around and not paying enough attention to the road and other vehicles. If this is you, there are a few things you need to know.

Driving Distractions Cause Accidents

Anything that distracts your full attention from the road can cause a driver to be distracted enough to cause a crash. Texting is particularly dangerous not only because of the distraction factor but also by the cognitive actions involved—typing, reading, sending. (This is also called “inattentional blindness.”)  All drivers are prohibited from texting in North Carolina.

AT&T has an online driving simulator that demonstrates how dangerous texting and driving can be.

While we know there are times where you “really need to take this call,” play it safe and pull over to the side of the road to do so if you can.

The Police Can Pull You Over For Texting

If your vehicle is in motion and you are caught texting behind the wheel, you can be pulled over and ticketed, with a $100 fine. This is true even if you’ve committed no other traffic violation (such as speeding or running a red light.) It’s not illegal to read or send texts or emails if your vehicle is stopped or parked (such as at a red light or in a parking lot while waiting for someone.)

“Novice Drivers,” those who are under 18, are prohibited from all cell phone use while driving, not just texting.

School bus drivers are also prohibited from using a cell phone while driving. This includes handheld and hands-free phone use.

GPS devices are currently allowed, however, they are also a distraction and can also cause an accident, as does using a cell phone’s GPS app.

What’s Next?

Although there is a movement to stop all cell phone while driving in North Carolina, not just texting, it hasn’t happened yet. Deaths in North Carolina have been attributed to distracted driving, but there really isn’t anything beyond the texting ban, yet.

Earlier this year, the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program launched “One Call Could Wreck It All,” an initiative to remind drivers to stop driving distracted. AT&T launched “It Can Wait” in 2013, and continues to promote safe driving, along with encouraging drivers everywhere to take their pledge and not drive distracted.

Let Dewey P. Brinkley Help

If you’ve been in an accident caused by distracted driving, contact our office at 919-832-0307 for a free consultation today. Mr. Brinkley is a Board Certified Specialist and an experienced defense lawyer who will represent you in court and ensure you have a fair trial with the strongest possible defense. He has extensive trial experience as a prosecutor in Wake County, North Carolina, and will work closely with you to build your case for trial. Don’t wait–call today.