Options for a foreign student arrested for driving while drunk
October 30, 2011 9:04 PM   Subscribe

Options/potential consequences for a foreign grad student, studying at U.C.S.D., who has just been arrested and booked in jail for a D.W.I.?

My roommate didn't make it home last night, and after doing some searching around this afternoon I've discovered that he was pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol on his way back from a Halloween party. He's a foreign student currently going to grad school here at UCSD. He's a great guy, good student, and I'm worried that he's going to be deported because of this. Can anyone tell me if there are any options for him, things that he might be able to do to avoid deportation?

I haven't actually been able to get in contact with him, but I learned from the San Diego county jail that he's been booked there, has an immigration hold, and has a court date set for Tuesday.

I am kind of fearing the worst on this one, which would be a shame because (aside from the dwi) he's a really sharp guy and it would be a total disaster if he had to quit school and move back home.

Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.
posted by farce majeure to Law & Government (12 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
IANAL, TINLA, etc. He needs a lawyer ASAP, maybe two. He needs one for the DWI and one for immigration. He may be able to find a lawyer that deals with both criminal and immigration issues.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 9:06 PM on October 30, 2011

Also be aware that if he meets bond or gets a signature bond, he is then released to ICE and can be moved to any detention center in the country.
posted by lockestockbarrel at 9:09 PM on October 30, 2011

(hola fellow triton..?)

get in touch with student legal services immediately. they are on the fourth floor of the student services center (across from price center). call now, leave a message. they open tomorrow morning at 8.

(858) 534-4374
posted by raihan_ at 9:11 PM on October 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

Lawyer. Most definitely. ASAP.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:17 PM on October 30, 2011

You may want to ask the mods to alter your post. I would imagine it is very easy for people to identify him, based on what you wrote in your post.
posted by Chaussette and the Pussy Cats at 9:22 PM on October 30, 2011

Ok, as I'd guessed, first step is to get a lawyer. I hope he knows that. I don't have any way of getting in contact with him but I've notified his brother, who's also studying here so hopefully he'll be able to relay the information or find him a lawyer. Also left a message with student legal services.

From the brief bit of research I've done so far, it seems as though in California first time dui's are usually not charged as a felony, but instead charged as a misdemeanor as long as no one was hurt. Anyone know if that is true? If it is, does that help his chances in terms of not being deported?
posted by farce majeure at 9:26 PM on October 30, 2011

yeah, good call, I will get try to get the post modified now.
posted by farce majeure at 9:26 PM on October 30, 2011

[edited some details per OP request, carry on]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:38 PM on October 30, 2011

First time DUIs in California are often charged as DUIs.

You need an immigration lawyer in addition to a criminal lawyer. The immigration lawyer can be proactive about preventing deportation.
posted by twblalock at 9:43 PM on October 30, 2011

Misdemeanors can still make you "removable." Absolutely talk to an immigration lawyer.
posted by SMPA at 9:50 PM on October 30, 2011

You might want to call the International Student Services at your school too. They should have information/support for your friend.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 5:43 AM on October 31, 2011

I might not contact the school on behalf of my friend (if I was in the same circumstance). Things like scholarships or sports can be taken away for the offence. He might want to decide that with a lawyer. No matter what he needs representation from someone who is really qualified very quickly. Start calling lawyers for him asap. The expense of the lawyers will be WAY less then the cost of being deported half way though a grad school. (im not a lawyer)
posted by Felex at 9:55 AM on October 31, 2011

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