Did you know that a DWI might affect your eligibility to obtain Global Entry through Customs and Border Protection?
In general, all United States citizens and lawful permanent residents possess eligibility to apply for Global Entry. This is a program through Customs and Border Protection that allows for expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers. That said, Customs my deny eligibility for a variety of reasons such as providing false information on the application and a finding of customs violation for *any* country (not just US Customs violations).
However, there are 3 important reasons related to criminal defense that everyone should know. First, Customs may deny eligibility if you have been denied for the purchase of a firearm. This restriction is important because firearm restrictions may, on occasion, be a condition of a criminal charge, even if the charge is dismissed. Further, a denial of a firearm purchase may show Customs that you are not a “low-risk” traveler based on the reason for denial.
Second, Customs may deny eligibility if you are the subject of an *ongoing investigation* by law enforcement. In other words, even if the State has not yet charged you with or convicted you of a crime, a pending investigation may result in denial of Global Entry. For example, if someone called the police but they made no arrest pending investigation, that would fall under this reason for denial of eligibility.
Finally, and most importantly, Customs may deny eligibility upon conviction, pending charges, or outstanding warrant for *any* criminal offense. This means a pending DWI or a DWI conviction could result in a denial of Global Entry. By extension, this language means that even a ticket might result in denial of eligibility. This may even include deferred adjudication probation where the court makes no actual finding of guilt.