Can a DUI affect someone with a green card going to apply for citizenship? 21 Answers as of June 28, 2013

My friend has a DUI record recently. He came to US with a Green Card. He is going to apply for the citizenship soon. Will the record affect at all?

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Pacifica Legal Services
Pacifica Legal Services | Floyd Fernandez
It is not likely that a DUI will stop a citizenship application from being approved. It must be disclosed, but it would have to be a felony or serious misdemeanor that would include the infliction of injury on another, and be construed as a possible "aggravated offense" that may disqualify your friend.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/7/2012
Gilgannon Law, LLC | Stuart D.P. Gilgannon
If it is only one conviction, especially if it occured several years ago, it should not be a huge problem for naturalization.
Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
Replied: 7/31/2012
Law Offices of Brian D. Lerner, A PC
Law Offices of Brian D. Lerner, A PC | Brian David Lerner
What jurisdiction does he live in?
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 6/28/2013
Mayo Mallette PLLC
Mayo Mallette PLLC | Thomas J. Rosser
Yes, a DUI can be a significant contributing factor in the potential denial of an N-400 naturalization petition process, depending in part on when it occurred and what additional violations of the law are on the petitioner's record.
Answer Applies to: Mississippi
Replied: 7/27/2012
Law Office of Michael P. Gianelli, LLC
Law Office of Michael P. Gianelli, LLC | Michael Gianelli
Yes, it can affect his chances of gaining citizenship. It will go towards the good moral character of the applicant. The date of the conviction and the method by which your friend obtained his green card are important case facts. It is in your friend's best interest to consult with and hire and immigration attorney.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 7/27/2012
    Perez-Jenkins Law, LLC | Patricia Perez-Jenkins
    Citizenship requires that you be considered a person of good moral character. Being on probation negates that possibility. Depending on what happened with the DUI if the person is on probation during the process for citizenship then that person will be denied. The recommendation is usually to wait until probation is over before applying for citizenship. Secondly if there is more than one DUI anywhere in the country, then we recommend speaking to an attorney. Also if there are other criminal issues, we would recommend speaking to an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 7/27/2012
    Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
    If his DUI is recent, it will affect his ability to file for citizenship. In order to qualify for citizenship, your friend must show 5 years of good moral conduct, which means that he cannot be on probation and cannot have any criminal convictions, including DUIs within 5 years of his filing. I strongly suggest that your friend contact an experienced immigration attorney for a face-to-face consultation and give him/her all of the facts surrounding his case. He/she would then be in a better position to analyze your friend's case and advise him of his options.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/27/2012
    World Esquire Law Firm
    World Esquire Law Firm | Aime Katambwe
    It all depends on how that DUI offense was classified, i.e, misdemeanor, felony, etc. We would need to look at his entire criminal background record to see if there is anything else in there. Assuming that it was classified as a misdemeanor and that the matter is close and further assuming that this offense was his only offense, then I would say that he should go ahead with the application.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/27/2012
    Law Office of Rebecca White
    Law Office of Rebecca White | Rebecca White
    Your friend will want to take a copy of his court records to an immigration attorney before he files for naturalization.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/27/2012
    Havens & Lichtenberg PLLC
    Havens & Lichtenberg PLLC | Michael Lichtenberg
    All criminal convictions affect one's eligibility for naturalization, some more, some less. Depending on facts of the case, position of the District Attorney's office, competence of your defense attorney, and feelings of the judge, a DUI in New York can be a adjudged as a violation, a misdemeanor, or a felony. On the immigration side of it, at minimum, your friend might be looking at a likely disqualification from naturalization because drunk driving does not exactly vouch for his good moral character. At maximum, by filing for naturalization with a recent felony DUI, your friend can be inviting Immigration Service to revoke his green card. Mind you, the conviction might be for a misdemeanor, but, if the charges were for actions that constitute a felony, and he pleaded guilty in exchange for a reduced sentence, it can still be treated as a felony by the Immigration Service. Your friend should consult a specialist. More likely than not, it is a good idea to postpone filing for citizenship for a couple of years - and keep his record clean.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/27/2012
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC | Pho Ethan Tran
    One DUI will usually not affect his application for citizenship, but he should wait at least 5 years after his conviction before he applies.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 7/27/2012
    Ayodele M. Ojo & Associates
    Ayodele M. Ojo & Associates | Ayodele Mayowa Ojo
    Yes, DUI is a serious offense, but if it was a one time offense, and you have shown proof of rehablitation and you are not an habitual drunkard , it will not be enough ground to deeny your application. You cannot lie about it, You must be able to provide the record of the matter and attach it to your application including police report. The answer to your question, Yes, DUI has implication on Citizenship application.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 7/27/2012
    Law Offices of Patricia M. Corrales
    Law Offices of Patricia M. Corrales | Patricia M. Corrales
    The simple answer is yes. Anything can effect one's eligibility for citizenship. Citizenship is the greatest and sought after rights that this great country bestows upon aliens so when apply for citizenship, an applicant has to be eligible in every respect. A simple DUI is not a crime that preclude an application for naturalizatio from being approved unless it was a DUI resulting serious bodily injury or death. However, if you lie about the DUI on your application for naturalization or during your interview which is under oath then your application for naturalization can be denied for lack of good moral character because you provided false testimony. As in all cases realting to citizenship, you should consult with an attorney who specializes in this area.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/27/2012
    Law Office of Bernal Peter Ojeda | Bernal Peter Ojeda
    1 DUI no. Several yes..
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/28/2013
    All American Immigration
    All American Immigration | Tom Youngjohn
    Yes it will if the case has not been "closed." Have him go to the criminal court clerk's office and get a "certified copy of the court docket." If the certified copy of the court docket does not say "closed" at the end of it, then the case remains "open" and he won't be naturalized and will have wasted his filing fee. In Washington State, many or most DUIs remain open for about five years if the case is resolved through some type of a deal. I often recommend considering plea-ing "guilty," flat out, to get a case closed so naturalization can be applied for. Remember though, three DUI now equal an aggravated felony and basically automatic deportation for most people. It's always wise to get a second opinion.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/27/2012
    Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal
    Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal | Alexander Segal
    A recent DUI can be a problem for citizenship. However, the impact will depend upon his entire history including factors such as whether he has other criminal matters(including traffic offenses), whether he has paid income taxes, whether he has outstanding support obligations, etc. Your friend is best advised to consult an attorney before filing for naturalization.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/27/2012
    Law Offices of Wanseuk Oh, PLC.
    Law Offices of Wanseuk Oh, PLC. | Wanseuk Oh
    One time DUI is OK for your citizenship application.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/27/2012
    Frazier, Soloway & Poorak, P.C.
    Frazier, Soloway & Poorak, P.C. | David Nabow Soloway
    A single DUI conviction should not stand in the way of naturalization eligibility. Nonetheless, it will be critically important to supply certified copies of all arrest disposition documents (including citation/indictment or other charging document; evidence of the plea; evidence of the order or other steps taken by the court; and evidence that all terms specified by the court (e.g. fine, classes, community service, probation, etc.) have been fully satisfied. If there may be other blemishes in the applicant's record, then the DUI conviction may become more problematic. Other alcohol-related matters may lead the USCIS to suspect ineligibility for naturalization as a "habitual drunkard," and other details could lead the USCIS to conclude the applicant failed to prove he did not lack good moral character. It would be wise for your friend to engage an immigration attorney to review eligibility and to advise about the most appropriate documentary evidence. Some immigration law firms, including mine, offer legal services on a "flat fee" basis so that a client will know the total expense from the very beginning, and a few immigration law firms, including mine, offer an initial consultation free of charge.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/27/2012
    Baughman & Wang
    Baughman & Wang | Justin X. Wang
    Most likely it will if it is within the statutory period (either 5 year or 3 year if married to USC).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/27/2012
    Siskind Susser - Immigration Lawyers
    Siskind Susser - Immigration Lawyers | Ari Sauer
    Yes. USCIS can deny the application if the DUI occurred within the 5 years (or 3 years if applying as the spouse of a US citizen) prior to the filing of the application for naturalization for a lack of good moral character. Anyone with a criminal history should at least consult with an immigration lawyer before filing an application for naturalization.
    Answer Applies to: Tennessee
    Replied: 7/27/2012
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