Is a DUI a “significant misdemeanor” for purposes of Deferred Action?

Table of Contents

Ārt Khwājah The Secretary of Homeland Security announced in mid June that certain people who came to the United States as children may request consideration of deferred immigration action by USCIS.    I don’t practice immigration law, but as a criminal defense attorney practicing in Southern California, there is a lot of crossover between criminal and immigration issues.   In fact, the Supreme Court recently held that criminal lawyers must have at least a basic understanding of the immigration consequences of criminal convictions for their clients in order to be considered competent counsel.  See Padilla v. Kentucky 130 S.Ct 1473 (2010) In light of the Court’s holding in Padilla, any criminal defense lawyer practicing in the California Court system needs to be aware of how convictions for various crimes under the California Penal Code, California Health and Safety Code, and California Vehicle Code will effect the immigration status of a client.   As of June 2012, this analysis also includes what effects convictions can have on eligibility for deferred action by USCIS.

buy Quetiapine with a visa To pose the same question in English instead of legalese…Will I be able to apply for deferred action if I get convicted of a DUI?  How about reckless driving? A wet? What happens if I catch a domestic violence case?   These issues have a HUGE impact for clients as deferred action eligibility can have tremendous benefits.    For example, achieving status under deferred action will make a client eligible for a California Drivers license because someone who has achieved deferred action status is no longer in the country illegally.    A second major benefit is the ability to apply for a work permit to become lawfully employed.   Although deferred action does not provide a pathway to citizenship (unlike the Dream Act immigration reformists were hoping for), it does provide a pathway to a drivers license and lawful employment, tremendous benefits that could be lost based on certain criminal convictions.

can you buy Ivermectin over the counter So what types of convictions are considered “significant misdemeanors”?  According to Crime -IQ (a great APP I highly recommend for anyone practicing criminal defense), the list includes “An offense of domestic violence; sexual abuse or exploitation; burglary; unlawful possession or use of a firearm; drug distribution or trafficking; driving under the influence; or, any other offense for which the individual was sentenced to time in custody of more than 90 days, will prevent consideration for deferral.”

So if you want to stay out of hot water under Padilla, make sure you advise your criminal defense clients who may be eligible for deferred action that a conviction for any of these types of offenses will make them automatically ineligibly for deferred action!



About the Author

Share this post....

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Related Articles....

can the police search you while on probation

I. Can The Police Search You While On Probation? This question is often asked by clients who are on probation and the answer to this is generally yes, but there

criminal defense faqs, dui

Criminal Defense FAQs 1. Can a defense lawyer represent a client if he wasn’t his lawyer during the first hearing? Absolutely. During a criminal case, the person being accused of

ten year rule dui

Ten Year Rule for Separate DUI Convictions As criminal defense attorneys, our hope is that any client with a DUI conviction only deals with a DUI once in their lifetime,