When representing non-citizens that are accused of criminal conduct, Seattle criminal defense attorneys are generally aware there are potential immigration consequences their client may be facing. That said, it is always best that the person confer with an attorney who focuses his/her practice on immigration law. This is so because immigration attorneys are more versed on the myriad of potential immigration consequences and the ever changing landscape of immigration law. Criminal defense attorneys assuredly understand the basics, but perhaps not the nuances, of immigration law, especially in this current political climate.
One such area that is probably better left for clarification by an immigration attorney is the concept of “deferred action”. Deferred action is a form of immigration protection that covers individuals without current legal status in the United States. Certain criminal convictions, however, bar an otherwise eligible individual from taking advantage of deferred action. Generally speaking, to qualify for deferred action, a person must not be convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or multiple misdemeanors, and must not pose a threat to public safety or our national security.
Interestingly, a “significant misdemeanor” includes the crime of DUI. But what about other reduced charges from DUI – like Reckless Driving or Negligent Driving, are they included? Well, it isn’t exactly known”. This is why it is always best for non-citizens facing DUI related charges to consult with an immigration attorney prior to accepting any negotiated settlement; the status on immigration law is perpetually in flux, and answer today may not be the same tomorrow, unfortunately.
If you or a loved one is accused of DUI (whether a citizen, or not) you should immediately consult with a qualified Seattle DUI Attorney. A qualified and respected Seattle DUI lawyer, among other things, can quite possibly save the aggrieved person thousands of dollars in court and insurance fees, the extent of loss of privilege to drive, and the amount of jail time to be served. We have said it before and will say it again, Washington DUI laws are far too complicated for any ol’ attorney to handle. Be smart and consult with a qualified and skilled Seattle DUI attorney when arrested for an alcohol and/or drug related DUI in Washington State. SQ Attorneys is here to help – (206) 441-1600.