Immigration Consequences of Criminal Convictions
Criminal convictions constitute have a serious impact on the ability to legally enter or remain in the United States. Criminal convictions can even result in the removal (deportation) of long-time permanent residents (green card holders). In addition, criminal conduct that does not result in a conviction can still cause a person to be inadmissible to or deportable from the United States. It is essential for noncitizens charged with crimes to consult with experienced immigration attorneys as well as criminal defense attorneys to minimize the effects of these charges. Even seemingly minor crimes, “expunged” convictions, and criminal sentences of probation can yield very serious consequences. An immigration attorney working in consultation with a defense attorney can advise them on how the individual’s criminal case can impact his or her immigration status.
If a noncitizen has a criminal conviction, an immigration attorney can determine the consequences of the conviction, if any, under the Immigration and Nationality Act. In the event that the government seeks to remove the noncitizen and refers the case to Immigration Court, the attorney can determine if there are any defenses to the charges of removability or deportability and pursue any ground of relief that might be available. Certain grounds of inadmissibility can be “waived” or pardoned by submitting waiver applications in conjunction with visa applications or applications for relief from removal.
. It is important that the deportation defense attorney you hire understands strategies that protect your rights in both areas of the law.