If you are facing criminal arrest by the police and your immigration status is in flux, you may wonder how this will affect you. Will you go to jail? Will your immigration status be put under a microscope? Will you be sent back to your home country? Let’s go over some FAQs regarding criminal charges and immigration.
What kind of impact will a criminal charge have on my immigration status?
This can have a negative impact, as criminal convictions can trigger the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to deny your application. They may also choose to begin deportation proceedings, or they may decide to detain or imprison you.
What should I do if I am not a U.S. citizen?
Those who face criminal charges as a non-U.S. citizen should contact an immigration lawyer immediately so they can review the case. You should also retain the services, concurrently, of a criminal attorney. Because these two areas of the law are so distinct, you need two separate professionals to fight hard for each aspect of the charge.
What are the two important types of criminal charges that I should be worried about?
The two main types are aggravated felonies and crimes of moral turpitude. Aggravated felonies involve theft, drugs, and acts of violence, while crimes of moral turpitude involve acts of moral deficiency, such as shoplifting, fraud, and assault and battery with a weapon. Moral turpitude crimes can also include:
- Voluntary manslaughter
- Spousal abuse
- Child abuse
- Possession of child pornography
- DUI without a license
- Willful tax evasion
Are there are other types of criminal charges?
Yes, they include charges for controlled substances offenses, firearm and destructive device convictions, espionage, sabotage, treason, domestic violence crimes, stalking, child abandonment, neglect, violation of protective order, high-speed flight from an immigration checkpoint, falsification of documents, and failure to register as a sex offender.
What is the likely result of these charges?
If you are convicted on charges of aggravated felony or a crime of moral turpitude, you can be deported or denied entry into the United States. The Immigration Service may also choose to deny your application.
What does a conviction mean?
This would mean an admission of responsibility for a criminal charge in a court of law, even if you plead not guilty. The law considers that you admitted responsibility even if you have to pay a fine or go on probation. Removal action against a non-U.S. citizen being convicted of a criminal charge is the most immediate and significant consequence of a guilty plea, according to Justice.gov.
Can I face deportation even though I don’t have a criminal conviction?
Yes. Immigration law has other grounds for deportation, such as violating the terms of your visa, committing marriage fraud and engaging in unlawful voting.
Can I face deportation if my criminal conviction is being appealed?
No, because it is not yet final. That being said, if you filed a habeas corpus petition, or a motion to vacate your criminal conviction, the conviction is final and the deportation process can begin while you are awaiting a decision on your case.
Contact D&N Law Group in Dallas and Irving
For honest and compassionate legal representation, we welcome you to contact us here at D&N Law Group. We specialize in both criminal and immigration legal services for your convenience. Call us for a free consultation today.