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DUI/DWI and DACA status or eligibility

Posted by Jason Baril | Apr 13, 2021 | 0 Comments

For anyone currently in the DACA program, they must comply with certain requirements and re-apply for the program every two years. One of the most important requirements for DACA relates to criminal convictions. A criminal conviction for a felony is likely to result in the cancellation of a person's DACA status. The outcome of a conviction for a misdemeanor is not as clear but the severity of the misdemeanor is taken into account. Not all misdemeanors are treated equally under the law, including driving under the influence.


Only misdemeanors that are categorized as “significant” will result in denial of a DACA renewal. USCIS definition on criminal  convictions is extremely broad, but the guidelines do list six distinct types of offenses that are always treated as significant misdemeanors. DUI is always one of the offenses and this is true even if the resulting conviction does not lead to a jail sentence.


 The government has broad discretion in determining what constitutes a DWI conviction, meaning any form of plea bargain a person might enter into could qualify. Remember DACA is not a right, therefor it is not guaranteed. Some states have programs for first time offenders those programs do not speak to one's DACA status and most likely will be deemed a conviction in the eyes of immigration officials. 


Consult a criminal/immigration attorney who is familiar with these matters because losing deferred action can happen because of a conviction for DUI. National Immigration Attorneys can help.

About the Author

Jason Baril

Jason has spent his entire career fight for those who need help and often times do not get the help they need. In addition to Immigration Law, Jason has worked on Criminal, Social Security Disability and Personal Injury cases which gives him diverse experience on many legal issues. 


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