Discussion Points for Punto Legal –September 25, 2019
I want to talk to you about a scenario I recently came across. We will use the name Edgar for our client. Edgar came to the U.S. in 2002 with a coyote. He works as a cook in a restaurant in Aspen. Last Sunday, he was driving home to Aspen after partying in El Jebel, It was mid-night. Earlier that evening, he had had a Crown and Coke and a Tecate beer. So he is apparently maintaining his sobriety. But he also had a marijuana edible, a chew. He likes the marijuana chew because it relaxes him and helps him go to sleep. A traffic cop stopped Edgar for going 65 mph in a 55 mph zone. The cop smells a very faint odor of alcohol-not enough to start a DUI investigation. But the cop suspects Edgar is under the influence of marijuana. He asks Edgar if he had used marijuana. Edgar tells him he had a marijuana chew that evening. Edgar tells the officer that he didn’t think there was anything wrong with driving after using marijuana. The officer takes Edgar to Aspen Valley Hospital for a blood draw. He then takes Edgar to the Aspen police department for a Drug Recognition Expert exam. The Drug Recognition Expert tests Edgar and concludes he was under the influence of marijuana. Edgar is charged with driving under influence of drugs, namely marijuana. How much trouble is Edgar in?
First, if the blood test comes back with 5 nanograms or more of THC-the active ingredient in marijuana-a judge or jury can convict Edgar of DUID. Second, if he is convicted of a DUID, Edgar will have his driver’s license revoked for 9 months. Third, Edgar may get a life-time bar to entry as a permanent resident if he is convicted of a DUID because drug-related offenses are life-time bars. Fourth, now suppose that Edgar was a permanent resident. ICE could try to deport Edgar for a drug-related offense. To avoid deportation, Edgar would have to prove the DUID was a one-time offense a one-time offense involving less than 30 grams of marijuana or proved he was entitled to cancellation of removal.
The lesson is if you are not a citizen, do not use or possess marijuana or work in the marijuana industry.
2. The Tests for Public Charge after the heavily weighted negative and positive factors:
· Intending immigrant’s age, in particular whether the immigrant is between 18 and 62.
· Household size, the smaller the better.
· Financial status. This includes household income and ownership of assets; health insurance; and financial liabilities.
· Education and skill. This includes ability to obtain employment; history of employment; high school diploma; occupational skills; ability to speak English
· Affidavit of support.
If you have a public charge worry or scenario in mind, let’s discuss it!