It’s been 40 years since the U.S. government tried to deport John Lennon. Will Justin Bieber be the most recent musician to face the music?

Justin Bieber was charged with drunken driving, resisting arrest and driving without a valid license after police saw the pop star street racing early Thursday morning, according to the police in Miami Beach.  Police confirm he was under the influence of alcohol, marijuana and an un-confirmed prescription medication. Since he is not a U.S. Citizen, Bieber is subject to the U.S. immigration laws and can be deported or barred admission into the U.S. in the future if he is convicted of certain crimes.

As Bieber has hired a well-versed criminal defense attorney to get him out of this bind, it is likely he will walk away with a slap on the wrist given his celebrity status. But as in all criminal actions, he should seek the advise of a good immigration attorney to ensure that any conviction he receives will not render him removable or inadmissible from the U.S.  Convictions for controlled substances on the federal register list can put a non-citizen at risk of deportation.  Multiple DUIs can also be used to characterize someone as a “habitual drunkard” creating a statutory bar for Immigration to find one to be of “good moral character,” a prerequisite to obtaining many immigration benefits.
While Bieber may be able to walk away without punishment, most non-citizens in the same situation are not so lucky. If convicted, most non-citizens would remain detained and face removal proceedings before an Immigration Judge at their own expense.  If you are a non-citizen of the U.S. and are arrested for driving while under the influence, contact us immediately so that we may advise you to avoid deportation.