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Court Rules Low-Level Marijuana Crimes Are Not Cause For Deportation

Court Rules Low-Level Marijuana Crimes Are Not Cause For Deportation

The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that a low-level marijuana crime conviction is not grounds for deportation for an immigrant legally living in the United States. A federal appeals court in San Francisco found that a Jamaican woman’s conviction for trafficking “a very small amount of marijuana” didn’t reflect “crimes involving moral turpitude.” The Ninth Circuit ruling on December 23 overturned a decision by the Board of Immigration Appeals that approved the removal of the woman who was convicted 10 years ago for possession with intent to distribute less than two pounds of marijuana.

Marijuana Use Remains a Federal Crime

Although marijuana use, possession and sales are legal in many states, it still remains a federal crime. Immigration officials can list marijuana use, investment or work as a reason to deny U.S. entry or immigration applications, and a noncitizen charged with a cannabis crime or a conviction can result in deportation because they do not have good moral character

Non-citizens who are applying for legal immigration status should consult an experienced crimmigration attorney on how to deal with legal and illegal marijuana use, criminal history or marijuana industry work or investment.

What Is A Crimmigration Lawyer? 
Crimmigration is the practice of criminal defense law for immigrants and non-citizens by lawyers who understand the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. If you are a non-citizen who has been charged or convicted of marijuana possession, your criminal defense attorney must know both immigration and criminal law so that you don’t lose your Green Card – or face deportation. Immigrants and non-citizens who are charged with marijuana possession – even though marijuana is now legal in Illinois – should be careful to hire a criminal defense attorney with experience in both immigration and criminal law.

Illinois Crimmigration Attorney

Do you have a question about Illinois marijuana laws, expungement and how they affect immigrants and non-citizens? The crimmigration attorneys at Chicago’s Godoy Law Office fight for the rights of immigrants in Illinois and help immigrants navigate the complex and numerous immigration policies, procedures, and regulations. If you need help with a criminal or immigration issue, please contact our office at 630-912-0322

AREAS WE SERVE: Godoy Law Office serves the entire Chicago, Illinois area including DuPage, Cook, Kane, Will, and Lake Counties


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Illinois State Bar Association
American Immigration Lawyers Association