DWI and Visa Revocation
Posted by Scott Gorman - November 15, 2017

Becoming a United States resident—let alone citizen—is a tough road, and for many people who want to remain in the U.S. for work, school, or to start a new life, a visa is one of the documents that allows that extended stay. But even those who have permission to be in the United States may find that their visas are threatened if they are convicted of committing certain crimes, including drunk or drugged driving.

Even without the threat of visa revocation, a DWI for any U.S. citizen is challenging enough. Defendants must defend themselves against the accusation that they drove a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated state. Various forms of evidence are typically used to assess sobriety (or lack thereof)—observations made by the arresting officer, chemical evidence relating to analyses of the motorist’s breath, blood, or urine samples, and any other evidence such as open bottles of alcohol, drugs in the vehicle, and so forth.

In building a defense for a client charged with drunk driving, a Hackensack DWI attorney must be ready to fight back against any paperwork and testimony the prosecution brings forth at the trial, and must be prepared to utilize expert witnesses, testimony, and oral argument.

Defendants on a Visa

For defendants living in the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa, the United States Department of State has made recent changes that add a whole new level of concern for those who have been charged with drunk or drugged driving. If the Department of State is made aware that a visa holder has been arrested for, or convicted of, a DWI, or any related offense, it can revoke the valid visa, citing potentially health-related reasons for ineligibility.

This stipulation does not limit the defendant to a recent offense—the Department can revoke a visa based on arrests or convictions that occurred up to five years ago. The Department’s decision to revoke a person’s visa after an incident can be made if it believes that the visa holder should be removed from the country for any reasons related to physical or mental health, and drunk driving can be referenced as one such reason. An arrest alone is enough to warrant a visa revocation; the defendant does not need to be convicted of the crime.

Call Your Lawyer

Once a visa has been revoked, a person may be barred from ever entering the country again, so the stakes are even higher for visa holders who are facing DUI charges. If you are in the United States on a non-immigrant visa, and you have been charged with drunk driving, you need the help of an experienced Essex County DWI attorney to ensure that your right to remain in the country is protected. Scott Gorman and the team at The Gorman Law Firm can help you protect your visa, your right to drive, and your right to continue living in the U.S. For more information on visa revocation laws and New Jersey’s drunk driving crimes, contact Scott today.

Published in Categories: DUI / DWI