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Receiving a driving under the influence for alcohol or drugs charge throughout the United States can result in large fines, having your driver’s license suspended, and even potentially jail time. However, what were to happen if you received a DUI in a different country? Questions like this are something you will want to discuss with an experienced criminal defense lawyer DC relies on at Frederick J. Brynn, P.C.

  • It can affect your immigration status. If you are trying to become a US citizen, having a criminal record will severely slow down this task. Becoming a citizen of the United States requires having a “good character”. If you have been convicted of a misdemeanor crime, which is what a DUI charge is normally classified as, in your home country or a different country, this could prevent you from fulfilling this requirement.
  • It can affect sentencing for another crime. The crimes that sit on your criminal record are not viewed as independent events when it comes to the eyes of the law. A criminal record is seen more as a long range of events that show the sum of your character to the law. This means that by having a DUI charge from a different country on your record, it can affect how you are penalized for future crimes that occur in the United States.

If you are charged with a crime in the United States, your sentencing could be tougher because you have a separate crime present on your record. Even if your DUI took place in a different country, it is still part of your criminal background. Because of this, you will be viewed as a repeat offender which could cause for your sentencing to be tougher for a different crime.

  • You can be prohibited from entering a different country. There are some countries that have very strict requirements for who is allowed to enter their borders. There could be similar impacts if you are charged with a DUI in a foreign country and then try to return to the United States. There are many countries which have varying entrance laws to make sure their citizens are as safe as possible.
  • You may not be able to expunge the charge. Expungement is the process that could allow any previous convictions or arrests for some crimes to be taken off your record. Many states have strict requirements for the types of crimes that are able to be expunged. For instance, there are specific sex crimes that are unable to ever be removed from a criminal record. In order to be eligible, you will need to finish any terms associated with your probation.

In other countries, however, you may not be able to have this conviction removed from your record. Depending on the country in which you received the DUI, it may not allow any convictions to be expunged for this crime. If that is what the law in that country is, the DUI will never be able to be removed on your record and in most cases, you are not able to do anything about it.


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