If you live in Canada and enjoy going to New York or other states just across the border, something you could be cautious of is getting a DWI. If you drive while intoxicated or are accused of doing so, your immigration status or ability to come into the country could be threatened.
While most people won’t face deportation because of a DWI, immigrants need to be cautious if they get a DWI while trying to become a citizen or obtain permanent residency. Getting a DWI could have a negative effect on those goals or make them impossible based on the factors of the case. Remember, the USA does have a “good character” requirement for immigrants.
What happens if you get a DWI but don’t want to live in the U.S.?
Since Canada is just across the border, you might just be in the U.S. for business or pleasure. You could be banned from returning if you get a DWI, especially if there are criminal elements involved. The good news is that a since DWI conviction usually isn’t enough to deny entry back into the U.S. Multiple convictions could be, though, so it’s still a good idea to defend yourself in U.S. court, even though you don’t live in the country.
According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, you may no longer be admissible to the United States if you have a DUI in combination with other misdemeanor offenses. If this happens, you will need to seek out a specialty waiver to come into the country. This is because a DWI could be considered a crime involving moral turpitude in some cases (but not all).
Get help for international DWI issues
Since this is a complex issue, it’s usually a good idea to look into defending against the DWI and trying to get it resolved before or in court. There are many laws that apply to these cases, and being able to prove that you were not impaired or that the stop wasn’t legal could help you avoid a DWI and maintain easy access to your friends or activities across the border.