People often come to my office and wonder if they will get deported from an arrest or crime conviction, which is generally a normal concern and I would be scared too. Whether or not you’re going to be deported on a criminal conviction is going to, obviously, depend on the conviction. Immigration has a broad range of crimes that make you removable from the United States. Even if it’s a misdemeanor under criminal law, that doesn’t mean it’s a minor offence for immigration law. Generally, drug offences are going to always make you removable from the United States, except in the case of a small amount of marijuana if you are in the United States. Anything else, such as a theft offence, a fraud offence, or a violent felony can make you removable from the United States. Please don’t take for granted that you have a conviction that was considered to be a minor offence under criminal law or you got a conditional discharge, it was dismissed in one year, that that’s no longer a conviction. That’s not necessarily true for immigration purposes. You want to discuss the crime with an immigration lawyer. You want to make sure that if you apply for citizenship or you travel it’s not going to catch up with you in the future. Just because a criminal lawyer says something was dismissed, may not be true for immigration law just because under criminal law it wasn’t a big penalty. If you didn’t go to jail and only did probation, that does not mean it’s not serious for immigration law. It’s very important to understand the criminal conviction and bring that to an immigration lawyer with all of your documentation to discuss it thoroughly and make sure you understand the consequences of that criminal conviction.
Most importantly, if you’re dealing with a criminal case currently and it’s pending, it’s very important that your criminal lawyer tells you the immigration consequences or you speak with an immigration lawyer. In fact, it’s required under criminal law now that a criminal lawyer makes certain that you understand the immigration consequences, otherwise, that plea could be vacated in the future as not a valid plea. If you’re in the situation where you have a pending criminal case, it’s very important to discuss your situation with an immigration lawyer and if you’d like to discuss your situation with me, we’d be happy to meet with you and your criminal lawyer to discuss and good luck.
Cheryl David is an experienced immigration attorney in NYC. Click here to contact2016 the law office for your free initial consultation. In situations involving pending criminal charges, it is imperative to speak to an experienced immigration lawyer, like Cheryl David.