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Can a Michigan Drunk Driving Lead to Deportation - Removal from the United States

January 21, 2011,

Can a non US Citizen be deported for conviction of a crime?

A non-U.S. citizen may be deported for a crime which involves moral turpitude. My research indicates that a single offense for a Michigan Drunk Driving (Operating while Intoxicated - OWI) without aggravating circumstances, does not qualify as such an offense.

However Noncitizens may be deported due to a conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude or an aggravated felony. There are also several other specific grounds such as drug offenses and domestic violence abuse that often lead to deportation of a noncitizen. In addition, if you are convicted of a misdemeanor in a state court, you may be deported if by immigration law standards it is an aggravated felony.The immigration statute's definition of an aggravated felony includes a crime of violence for which the term of imprisonment is at least one year. A crime of violence is an offense that involves either the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against another person or his or her property. A crime of violence may also include offenses that by their nature involve a substantial risk for physical force to be used against a person or property.

Can a first offense OWI lead to deportation?

My research indicates that a simple first offense Michigan drunk driving (OWI) does not constitute a crime involving moral turpitude which could lead to deportation.

Can an OWI ever lead to deportation?

A Michigan drunk driving, or a drunk driving in any other state, with aggravating factors may result in deportation. Michigan has specific statutes that make it a felony if you commit a drunk driving causing a death or serious personal injury. There is much at stake and any non-U.S. citizen should have an aggressive immigration and criminal defense lawyer whenever charged with any crime including a first offense for drinking and driving.