What Happens if You Are Undocumented and Get a DUI?
Being arrested, charged and/or convicted for DUI comes its own set of challenges, even if you are U.S. citizen. But for undocumented immigrants, a DUI arrest can open up a whole new set of complications. Undocumented immigrants face a certain amount of risk anytime they get behind the wheel because even a routine traffic stop can put them on the radar of government authorities. But since the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) places a higher priority on deporting undocumented people with criminal records, a DUI arrest or conviction can heighten the chances of deportation considerably.
When/How Does ICE Get Involved?
Technically, a DUI is a municipal or state offense enforced by local or state police, not by ICE. Some people might gain a false sense of security over a DUI arrest because the local police and ICE are two different departments. However, a DUI arrest and/or conviction can get the attention of ICE quicker than you might think. ICE may get involved with your case in one of three ways: