Legal Resident Alien

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) applies the term resident alien in three different manners: A permanent resident (also known as a permanent resident alien, lawful permanent resident, resident alien permit holder, or green card holder) is any person who is not a citizen of the United States is residing in the U.S. under legally recognized and lawfully recorded permanent residence as an immigrant; a conditional resident is any alien granted permanent resident status on a conditional basis who is required to petition for the removal of the set conditions before the second anniversary of the approval of his or her conditional status; and returning resident (or "special resident") is a Lawful Permanent Resident who has been outside the United States and is returning to the U.S.

While a single conviction for driving while intoxicated (DWI) without any aggravating factors usually does not lead to deportation proceedings, alleged repeat offenders and drunk driving crimes that do involve aggravating factors can lead to legal resident aliens possibly being deported. In such cases, it is critical for legal resident aliens to retain legal counsel well-versed not only in criminal law, but immigration law as well.

Attorney for Legal Resident Alien DWI in Brownsville, TX

Are you a legal resident alien who was recently arrested for DWI anywhere in South Texas? You will want to contact The Gracia Law Firm as soon as possible.

Jonathan Gracia is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Brownsville who defends clients facing drunk driving charges in Cameron County, Hidalgo County, and Willacy County. He can provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call (956) 504-2211 to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.


Cameron County Legal Resident Alien DWI Information Center


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Aggravating Factors in Texas DWI Cases Resulting in Deportation

While a first DWI conviction does not always result in deportation, immigration-related actions can be more common in drunk driving cases involving any of the following aggravated factors:

  • DWI classified as felony offense;
  • DWI involved controlled substances;
  • DWI with child passenger;
  • DWI resulted in intoxication assault or intoxication manslaughter charges;
  • Offender was driving on a suspended or revoked license;
  • Offender has been previously convicted of a crime of moral turpitude.

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Brownsville DWI Deportation Process for Legal Resident Aliens

When a legal resident alien is accused of a criminal offense in Texas, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) may issue a Notice to Appear (NTA) that is served to the alien and filed with the immigration court. The NTA will state the reason for the deportation or removal.

An immigration judge will ask the legal resident alien to verify the NTA, and the judge can order that the alien be deported if he or she determines that the information in the NTA is correct. Some legal resident aliens, however, may be eligible for some form of relief that allows them to avoid deportation.

Types of relief may include:

  • Adjustment of Status
  • Administrative/Judicial Relief
  • Asylum
  • Cancellation of Removal
  • Discretionary Relief
  • Voluntary Departure

If a legal resident alien is eligible and applies for a form of relief, an individual hearing date will be scheduled. Even if a legal resident alien is ordered to be deported, he or she may still be able to appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA)—and even BIA decisions can be appealed to the United States Court of Appeals.


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Cameron County Legal Resident Alien DWI Resources

DHS Secretary John Kelly: A single DUI could lead to deportation proceedings — View an April 16, 2017, ThinkProgress story discussing then-Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly (later appointed as White House Chief of Staff on July 31, 2017) telling "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd in response to a question about who was being deported that was not being deported before, "Even a single DUI, depending on other aspects, would get you into the system." As ThinkProgress notes, immigrants who were previously deemed as lower priority detainees under the Obama administration were not subject to possible deportation in such cases. A 2014 Homeland Security memo showed that the Obama administration considered drunk charges to be civil immigration enforcement priority level 2 (out of three levels), the second-highest priority level for apprehension and removal.

Who is Responsible for U.S. immigration policy? | American Bar Association (ABA) — Read an article from the Spring 2014 issue of the ABA publication Insights on Law and Society that discusses how the nation’s immigration laws are handled. Learn more about the differences between federal, state, and local immigration regulation. As the article notes, "In recent years, the federal government has increasingly sought to develop rela­tionships with state and local officials, sometimes against the will of officials in some jurisdictions."


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The Gracia Law Firm | Brownsville Legal Resident Alien DWI Defense Lawyer

If you are a legal permanent resident who was recently arrested for DWI in the Rio Grande Valley, it is in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. The Gracia Law Firm represents immigrants in communities all over Hidalgo County, Willacy County, and Cameron County.

Brownsville criminal defense attorney Jonathan Gracia can fight to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. Call (956) 504-2211 or submit an online contact form to have our attorney review your case and answer all of your legal questions during a free initial consultation.



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