If you are a non-citizen who has been charged with a crime it is important to hire a criminal defense attorney with expertise in both immigration and criminal defense law. Non-citizens including Green Card holders who face criminal charges also can have immigration penalties. Often called crimmigration, it is important for immigration attorneys and criminal defense attorneys to understand the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. Here are five reasons an immigrant charged with a crime should hire an immigration criminal defense lawyer.
1. A Non-Citizen Charged With a 1st-Time Crime
Immigrants and non-citizens who are facing a first-time criminal charge can also lose their immigration status, including the loss of a Green Card or even deportation.
2. If You Have An Expunged Criminal Record
If you have a criminal history and received expungement and are applying for immigration benefits and are asked about any previous arrests or criminal history by an immigration official you must reveal your criminal history even if it expunged or sealed. Immigration law does not acknowledge expungement when you are not a U.S. citizen. The immigration office still looks at whether that offense counts as a conviction for immigration purposes. The officer will also not take into account how the state treats or labels that conviction.
3. You Voted In A Presidential Election But Are Not A Citizen
If you voted in a presidential election and are a non-citizen you need to hire an immigration and criminal defense lawyer. The citizenship application form USCIS Form N-400 evaluates if you have good moral character and are eligible for citizenship by asking many questions, including. “Have you ever voted in any federal, state, or local election in the United States?”
4. You Did Not Pay Your Taxes
It is a federal crime for citizens and non-citizens to not file and pay their taxes, and a reason for you to lose your immigration status. It is also a crime to lie on your tax return.
5. You Are Charged With A DUI
A DUI arrest or conviction can result in denial of your immigration application. It is important to build a DUI defense that addresses the immigration side of the case as well as the criminal charges.
For an immigrant with an arrest or conviction, not being a citizen adds extra complications and potentially devastating consequences. To protect your rights and your American Dream, it’s important that your criminal defense attorney is experienced in both immigration and criminal defense law so that you don’t lose your immigration or your Green Card – or face deportation.
Godoy Law Office attorneys are experienced in criminal defense law and immigration law. Our experienced crimmigration attorneys have a distinct advantage that allows us to fight zealously on your behalf.
Small offenses can have serious, long-term consequences for non-citizens. Know your rights, and protect your rights. If you or a loved one are charged with a crime, call an experienced crimmigration legal team with specialized knowledge of both criminal and immigration law. Our attorneys at Godoy Law Office practice criminal defense and immigration law. Call us today at 630-912-0322.
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AREAS WE SERVE: Godoy Law Office serves the entire Chicago, Illinois area including DuPage, Cook, Kane, Will, and Lake Counties