Like many of us, Justin Bieber wanted to enjoy a quiet, peaceful Labor Day weekend but, while on a romantic getaway in Canada with his reportedly on-again girlfriend Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber was arrested. And, as we know, it was not the first time. The reason behind this particular arrest was Bieber driving an ATV into a minivan which was said to be driven by a paparazzo. Allegedly, Bieber then got into some type of physical altercation with the minivan driver. Bieber was charged dangerous driving and assault.
This has been a tumultuous year for the Canadian signer in general. It all began in January, when Bieber egged his neighbor's house in Calabasas, causing thousands of dollars in damages. Not everyone was amused by Bieber's misguided teenage prank. That, paired with his friend Lil Za's arrest for drug possession, prompted other celebrities to speak out about the singer's bad behavior. Talks of deportation gained traction (and an official White House petition) to the point where Business Insider looked into Bieber's legal status in the U.S.
At that time, Bieber hadn't been convicted for the egging. But, drawing from immigration law and his existing criminal record, Business Insider concluded that "a more than one-year sentence... could technically" jeopardize Bieber's visa. While he could've faced jail time for the vandalism charges, it seems he has good lawyers — Bieber walked away with a two-year probation and court-mandated anger management.
The saga doesn't end there. In July, Bieber reached a settlement for a drag racing and a DUI charge in Miami, also from January, which stacked up some more anger management sessions, as well as a hefty fine. Halfway through the year and Bieber wasn't looking too good, but these were all still misdemeanors, and nothing grave enough to get him booted out of the country.
However, this does means that Bieber falls under a privileged category. Back in 2011, Politico reported that "44 percent of criminals deported from the U.S. in the past fiscal year had a criminal record of one or two misdemeanors." The Canadian singer is in that percentage — except for the fact that he hasn't been deported. As Business Insider put it, while Bieber is no upstanding citizen, he hasn't done anything that qualifies as a "crime of 'moral turpitude,'" as the legal work consulted states. It would take something more serious.
I'm no legal expert. I'm just a celebrity writer trying to figure out what's happening with Justin Bieber, but some research into the legal documentation surrounding immigration can give us a sense of why Bieber has gotten away with all these charges. (And how he's, allegedly, getting his hands on alcohol despite being underage.)
The U.S. Code Title 8, Chapter 12, Section 1101 breaks down who qualifies as an immigrant and defines a "serious criminal offense" — one that might put into question the individual's status — for Section 1182, which defines "Inadmissible Aliens," as such:
(1) any felony;(2) any crime of violence, as defined in section 16 of title 18; or(3) any crime of reckless driving or of driving while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol or of prohibited substances if such crime involves personal injury to another.
Section 1182, then, echoes Business Insider's conclusion that jail time might be the only thing to get Bieber's visa taken away. While Bieber has a couple of alcohol-related charges, none have resulted in "personal injury to another." The U.S. Customs and Border Protection says that while a couple of misdemeanor charges might stop you from entering the country, a simple DUI won't. Plus, his latest carfuffle took place in his homeland. And, while they might affect the public's perception of Bieber, it might do little stateside. After all, even the White House is ambivalent about what we think about the situation.
So, even though many people have been forced to leave the U.S. with as many (or less) charges than Bieber, the Canadian singer will probably remain in the clear. Why? Really, really, really good lawyers.
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