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How Do Criminal Charges Affect My Immigration Status? (2024)

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How Do Criminal Charges Affect My Immigration Status? (2024)

As a non-citizen, being charged with a crime can have severe implications for your immigration status. It is important to understand how the criminal justice system and immigration system interact and how a criminal conviction can affect your ability to remain in the United States. An immigration attorney can help you navigate the complex legal issues that may arise due to criminal charges. They can also provide you with guidance and advice on how to best protect your rights and interests.

The Consequences of Criminal Convictions

If you are a non-citizen and are convicted of a crime, you could be subject to deportation proceedings. This means that you could be removed from the United States and barred from returning in the future. Additionally, even if you are acquitted of a crime, being arrested or charged can lead to immigration consequences. For example, if you are arrested and detained, immigration authorities may place you in removal proceedings.

An immigration attorney can help you understand the specific immigration consequences that may result from a criminal conviction. They can also advise you on your options for relief from deportation. This can include the cancellation, removal, or adjustment of status, which may be available under certain circumstances.

Aggravated Felonies

Certain crimes are considered “aggravated felonies” under immigration law. These include heinous crimes such as murder, sexual abuse, and drug trafficking. If you are convicted of an aggravated felony, it is improbable that you will be able to remain in the United States.

An immigration attorney can help you understand what constitutes an “aggravated felony” under immigration law and provide guidance on how to defend against such charges. They can also advise you on your options for relief from deportation. This can include withholding removal or relief under the Convention Against Torture, which may be available to you even if you have been convicted of an aggravated felony.

The Interaction of the Criminal and Immigration Systems

When you are arrested and not a U.S. citizen, it is important to let your attorney know if you have any immigration status and if you have been placed in removal proceedings. The criminal justice system and immigration system are separate, but they interact in ways that can be detrimental to non-citizens. An immigration attorney can help you navigate the complexities of the criminal justice and immigration systems. They can also advise you on how to best protect your rights and interests in both proceedings.

Relief From Removal

If you are in deportation proceedings, you may be able to apply for relief from removal, such as asylum or withholding of removal. However, these forms of relief are not available to individuals convicted of certain crimes, including certain types of aggravated felonies. An immigration attorney can help you understand what forms of relief may be available. They can also assist you in preparing and presenting your case to immigration authorities.

The Value of an Immigration Attorney

An immigration attorney is a specialized legal professional trained and experienced in the field of immigration law. They provide legal representation and guidance to individuals, families, and organizations that are seeking to immigrate to a new country or are dealing with immigration-related issues.

An immigration attorney can also provide representation in immigration court. For example, if a client is facing deportation or other legal proceedings, an attorney can help them understand their rights and defend their case in court. This can be especially important for individuals or families who may need to become more familiar with the legal system or may need a better understanding of the English language.

Another vital role of an immigration attorney is to advise clients on compliance with immigration laws. This can include guidance on issues such as employment authorization, travel restrictions, and other regulations that may affect an individual’s ability to stay in a country legally. Without proper legal guidance, individuals may find themselves violating immigration laws and facing removal proceedings without having the legal background to understand their rights and options. An attorney can provide invaluable advice to those in this situation. This ensures that their rights are respected and that they can remain in their country legally to the best of their ability.

FAQs About Criminal Charges’ Effect on Immigration Status

What crimes affect immigration?

Certain crimes, such as those classified as “aggravated felonies” under immigration law, can significantly impact an individual’s immigration status. These include murder, sexual abuse, kidnapping, and drug trafficking, among others. Additionally, any criminal conviction, whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony, can lead to deportation.

How far back does the USCIS background check go?

The background check conducted by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will check for any criminal convictions or arrests in an individual’s past. The exact extent of the background check will depend on the specific case and the type of immigration benefit being sought. Still, in general, USCIS will check an individual’s criminal history from birth to the present.

Can a misdemeanor affect immigration?

Yes, a misdemeanor conviction can affect immigration status. While misdemeanors are generally considered less serious than felonies, any criminal conviction can lead to deportation for a non-citizen. Additionally, certain misdemeanors, such as those involving moral turpitude or controlled substances, may be considered more serious under immigration law and have more severe consequences.

Do arrests affect immigration?

Yes, arrests can affect immigration status. Even if it does not result in a conviction, an arrest can have immigration consequences, such as being placed into removal proceedings. Additionally, an arrest may be considered a negative factor when determining an individual’s eligibility for certain immigration benefits.

Contact U.S. Law Center Today

At U.S. Law Center, we are experienced in all areas of immigration law and have the knowledge and skill needed to provide comprehensive legal representation to our clients. Our experienced attorneys can work closely with you throughout the process, providing guidance and support every step of the way. If you are facing an immigration-related situation and need legal assistance, contact U.S. Law Center today to schedule a consultation. We are here to help you navigate the complexities of the immigration system.

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