Deportation defense can be complicated in Lombard, especially for those with criminal charges on their records. Even individuals who have lived and worked in the United States for many years as lawful permanent resident (LPRs) may be subject to deportation for certain reasons.
While the most effective measure to prevent deportation is to obtain citizenship, there are numerous defensive strategies when a non-citizen is facing potential removal. In Lombard, the impact of criminal charges on deportation defense typically depends on a variety of factors, many of which are outlined below. Contact a skilled immigration attorney to discuss your situation.
The Deportation or Removal Process Differs Depending on Circumstances
The U.S. government reserves the right to deport foreign nationals on several different grounds. These include violating the terms of their visa, participating in certain criminal acts, and taking actions that are considered to pose a threat to public safety.
While individuals who lack proper travel documentation may be deported under the expedited removal process without a hearing in immigration court, others are granted an opportunity to raise defenses in a formal hearing. The case would be heard by a Department of Justice (DOJ) Immigration Court. In some situations, a foreign national may be detained in an Immigration and Customers Enforcement (ICE) facility prior to the trial or removal.
After a court ruling, it may be possible to file an appeal. In addition, those who are deported may have the chance to apply for readmission by filing a Form I-212.
The Potential Importance of a Knowledgeable Attorney
Criminal defense lawyers are often extremely good at evaluating options and advising their clients, but they may not always understand the impact that a plea deal can have on immigration status. Those who do not have full U.S. citizenship would be wise to consult an immigration lawyer when trying to determine the impact on deportation defense that criminal charges in Lombard may have.
For instance, accepting a plea option that avoids a fine or provides a short term of incarceration may result in immigration consequences that are far worse than what might happen with a different option. It is important to be sure that legal advice evaluates the outcome both in terms of criminal penalties and immigration impact.
Federal Law Regarding Deportation for Criminal Offenses
8 U.S. Code §1227 specifies several situations in which a foreign national convicted of a crime may be deported. These include:
- Crimes involving “moral turpitude” which are punishable by more than one year of imprisonment
- Two or more crimes of moral turpitude—regardless of the criminal penalties—arising from different circumstances
- Aggravated felonies
- Failing to register as a sex offender
- Drug crimes, other than possession of small amounts of marijuana
- Buying, selling, possessing or using certain firearms
- Domestic violence
It is important to keep in mind that while a conviction for any of these offenses provides grounds for deportation, a criminal charge is not the same thing as a conviction. A foreign national facing criminal charges and deportation proceedings has the right to defend against both the criminal charge and his or her removal.
In addition, the standard for determining whether a particular crime fits into one of the above categories often shifts and may be subject to debate. This opens the door to arguments that a charge or conviction in a particular case should not provide grounds for deportation.
Criminal Defense and Deportation Defense Working Together
If you live as a legal immigrant in Lombard, the impact of criminal charges on deportation defense cannot be ignored. Advice from an attorney with an understanding of both areas of law could enable someone facing deportation to consider all available options and create the best plan of action based on the unique circumstances involved.
Criminal charges may have a substantial impact on deportation defense, but understanding the possible impact and addressing key concerns right at the start may increase the chances of a favorable outcome. For advice about defense strategies in a particular situation, call today.