Q.Political refugee with DUI charge/potential expungement
(Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States)
Mar 21, 2012
I am a Public Defender in Pennsylvania and have a client who is a political refugee from Nepal. He has been in the U.S. for 9 months and is scheduled to be granted permanent residency after one year here. He is charged with underage Driving Under the Influence. He is elegible for ARD, meaning he would plead guilty now, then follow guidelines and punishments, typically probation and safe driving classes. If he fully complies with the ARD agreement his record would be expunged. My question is whether or not the standard of commiting a crime of "moral terpitude" to be deported for
non-perminant immigrants is the same for refugees. The ARD deal gives my client the best chance to move on with his life, but I do not want the, albeit temporary, guilty disposition to negatively effect his refugee status. Any advice? Thank you.