Lawful permanent residents who have lived and worked in the United States with a green card might suddenly find themselves subject to frightening and overwhelming deportation. This is especially true in situations where a green card-holder has allegedly committed a crime, regardless of whether the offense occurred many years ago.
The impact of criminal charges on a deportation defense in Aurora could vary depending on the severity of the crime, as well as the status of the individual facing deportation. Allegations of criminal activity are some of the most common grounds for why deportation proceedings are initiated, so it is crucial to understand the potential ramifications. By working with a skilled deportation defense lawyer, you could understand how to best protect your rights, as well as your available options for a defense.
Pleading Guilty or No Contest
In many situations, a defense attorney will suggest that an individual accept a plea bargain that might involve pleading guilty or “no contest” to an offense. This is often done to avoid a trial and the potential for jail time. However, for non-citizens, this type of bargain could be detrimental to an immigrant’s legal status.
Because of this, it is wise for anyone with a green card who is facing criminal charges to review the potential penalties on their immigration status before accepting a plea bargain. Accepting a plea to certain offenses could, for example, cause someone to become eligible for deportation—even if they hold a valid green card. Furthermore, a consultation with an attorney who is familiar with both criminal law and immigration law might save you confusion and grief.
The Impact of An Arrest
If someone is arrested for a crime, but charges are dropped or dismissed, they will not be considered convicted of that crime. However, the arrest may still impact deportation and other immigration matters.
Specifically, to be eligible for certain forms of removal relief, an individual must demonstrate “good character.” Unfortunately, an arrest may be used as evidence to argue that an individual lacks the requisite character for eligibility. With preparation, however, it may be possible to present persuasive counter-arguments showing why an arrest should not be taken as an indication of your moral standing.
Crimes of Moral Turpitude
When non-citizens are convicted of certain criminal offenses, their charges may cause them to be placed in removal proceedings. Traditionally, these crimes have been referred to a “crimes of moral turpitude,” or, in other instances, “aggravated felonies.” However, both of these terms are open to interpretation.
In general, crimes that involve an intent to harm others may provide grounds for removal. These offenses include:
- Spousal abuse
- Driving under the influence
Call an Aurora Lawyer About the Impact of Criminal Charges on Deportation Defense
Deportation defenses often consist of at least two approaches. First, the person fighting against deportation may argue that they did not do anything to provide cause for removal. Second, an individual may argue that even if the government does have grounds for removal, the judge should grant relief because of extraneous circumstances.
If the proceedings have been initiated due to allegations of criminal behavior, this will naturally have an impact on a deportation defense. Additionally, certain forms of relief from removal are not available if an individual has been convicted, or even if they are shown to lack good character.
In short, criminal charges can have a tremendous and negative impact on the strength of a deportation defense. However, an experienced deportation defense attorney may be able to ascertain the full extent of your situation and devise the best plan under your unique circumstances. To learn more about the impact of criminal charges on deportation defense in Aurora, call a legal professional today.