Criminal charges can have very serious potential immigration consequences. A wide variety of charges, both felony and misdemeanor, can result in removal and/or bars on reentry.
Conviction is not necessarily required for immigration consequences and dismissal of the charges is not always sufficient to avoid them.
It is very important to understand the possible immigration consequences. It is not uncommon that these consequences are far more severe than the penal consequences.
Seek legal guidance immediately if you are not a U.S. citizen and you have been charged with a crime. The Albuquerque attorneys at Collins & Collins, P.C. can help to work through the criminal charges and the possible immigration consequences. Contact us online or give us a call at (505) 242-5958.
Even Seemingly Minor Charges Can Result in Removal and/or Inadmissibility
Felony charges often result in removal and/or inadmissibility. However, you need not be charged with a felony to be facing immigration consequences.
Be advised that many otherwise minor criminal charges such as shoplifting, petty larceny, minor possession of marijuana and misdemeanor domestic violence can result in your removal, deportation and inadmissibility.
Address Immigration Status with Criminal Attorney Immediately
It is critical that you understand your situation from the very beginning of your case. Upon your first contact with our office, you will be asked about your immigration status. It is important that you provide accurate and honest information so that we can plan your criminal defense accordingly.
The defense strategy of your case will reflect your lack of citizenship and potential immigration issues.
Wide Range of Charges with Immediate and Severe Consequences
Unfortunately, there may be many otherwise good options that are unavailable to you. There are several categories of criminal charges that can result in your automatic removal, deportation and inadmissibility.
These include charges involving drugs/controlled substances, domestic violence, aggravated felonies and crimes of moral turpitude. You need to know whether your case falls within one of these categories and you need to know immediately.
Crimes of moral turpitude cover a broad range of charges from very serious charges to seemingly trivial misdemeanor cases. There is a long list of cases that are classified as crimes of moral turpitude. The list has some pretty surprising entries such as shoplifting, petty larceny, bad checks, assault, and even obscenity. The list is long and classification of your charge as a crime of moral turpitude makes your legal defense much more challenging than would be the case with similarly situated citizens.
Conviction is Not Required – Otherwise Good Plea Options May Not be Available
There may simply be no available plea options. Even pleas ultimately resulting in the dismissal of your charges can result in removal, deportation and inadmissibility. The lack of plea options means that you must either get the case dismissed or win at trial to avoid the immigration consequences.
Of course, there can never be a guarantee that you will win at trial. But trial may be the only option so your case should proceed with trial in mind.
Consequences Apply to All Non-Citizens
If you are a non-citizen facing criminal charges, even if you have been in the United States for 30 years, bought a house, raised a family, established a successful business, and otherwise led the life of a model citizen, you need to take even the most minor charges quite seriously. The immigration consequences could prove disastrous for you and your family.
Because of the severe potential consequences, we often suggest that our non-citizen clients immediately seek immigration law representation as well. This is to insure that everything is done to best protect your immigration status.