The Los Angeles DUI Law Blog

Overseas DUIs: 3 Legal Consequences

While some things that happen on vacation can stay on vacation, overseas DUIs aren't one of them.

If a person gets a DUI in a foreign country, he or she can face legal ramifications both in the foreign country and in the United States.

Here are three legal consequences of getting a DUI overseas.

1. U.S. immigration consequences. For people visiting the United States from a foreign country, committing a crime while in the states can get you deported. However, foreigners who commit typical DUIs in America likely won't get deported. This is because the average DUI is not considered a crime of violence or an aggravated felony under the Immigration and Nationality Act. While a visa-holder might not get deported for a DUI, it could affect that person's immigration status if he or she is hoping to obtain citizenship.

2. Overseas DUIs could affect future cases. U.S. citizens who are convicted of DUIs in a foreign country should be aware that these convictions can follow them back home. If you get a subsequent DUI in the states, your overseas crime may be weighed against you when it comes to your sentencing and conviction. While DUIs in some states can be expunged from your record, you may not be so lucky with foreign DUIs. So whether or not you can get an expungement depends on the laws of the state or country.

3. You may be barred from entering the country. Visitors with a criminal record may be denied a visa to enter a foreign country. For example, Mike Tyson was barred from entering the U.K. due to a rape conviction. The U.K. often denies entry to people who've been convicted of an offense that includes a prison term of at least four years.

Canada also has similar entry laws. Under Canada's immigration laws, if you've been convicted of a minor or serious crime, you may not be allowed into the country -- this includes dangerous driving and DUIs. If Canadian officials believe you've been "rehabilitated" of your crime, you could be granted entry. However, at least five years must have passed since the end of your sentence or the day you committed the crime.

Just like how must abide by DUI laws in the states, avoid being an "ugly American" overseas by not drinking and driving while visiting.

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