Are you an immigrant and have been charged with a federal crime? Being convicted or even arrested can affect your immigration status, job opportunities, and fundamental freedoms.
However, having an immigration and criminal defense lawyer by your side will help you receive the representation you deserve. Having experienced attorneys who are experts in criminal immigration law and work to provide you with the best possible outcome is crucial. These cases are extremely complex and extend for several years unless handled expertly by a professional.
But in what ways can they help you, and what are some things you should know regarding this topic? Find out in this article.
Why should you hire a criminal immigration lawyer?
Experts in immigration law
Immigration and criminal defense lawyers are experts in immigration law. They will inform you of your rights and responsibilities as an immigrant, the potential impact of a criminal charge in the immigration process, and how to avoid or resolve problems when they arise. They specialize in felony DUI, body attachments, bench warrants, trafficking, marijuana, fraud, identity theft, interstate crimes, domestic violence, battery, etc.
Guide you throughout the process
Immigration lawyers also know what it takes to clear up any misunderstandings that may arise while processing cases involving their client’s case. The right lawyer can guide you at every stage of the process—from preparing for hearings to fighting charges related to violations such as perjury on police reports.
Help get your charges dropped
A criminal attorney can help you get your charges reduced or dismissed if you are not guilty. A good immigration lawyer can also help someone with a criminal charge because they will likely have an uphill battle defending themselves against deportation proceedings, primarily if they cannot provide proof of their innocence.
Understanding the potential impact of a criminal charge
Criminal convictions may affect your ability to obtain a visa, depending on what type of visa you are eligible for. Suppose you have an outstanding warrant for arrest. In that case, it can be difficult to travel outside the country without being detained at airports and borders by immigration officers who may ask questions about your case.
In some cases, this could mean that you cannot leave home until the authorities clear the warrant or someone pays bail, so they can be released from custody while waiting for their trial date.
You may also be limited in what kind of jobs you can take once back home if employers are concerned about hiring someone convicted of a crime, even if it was many years ago—and even if there wasn’t any conviction record attached!
Some examples of crimes on immigration
Crimes under this are divided into three degrees, first, second and third. A first-degree crime is punishable by imprisonment for 16 months or more in state prison, and second-degree crimes are punishable by imprisonment in state prison for at least six months but less than 16 months. A third-degree crime is punishable by imprisonment in county jail for less than one year.
Aggravated felony has the worst outcome for immigrants, making them ineligible to apply for discretionary relief like a voluntary departure, cancellation of removal, and asylum.
Crime of violence
The crime of violence is a felony. It is a violent crime and involves the use or threat of physical force against another person or property. If you are convicted of this type of offense, the law will sentence you to state prison for a few years and a hefty fine. These carry two immigration penalties for the accused and are considered deportable crimes if committed against someone protected by the state’s domestic violence laws.
Controlled substance offense
The penalty for a drug crime can vary, but in general, you’ll be facing a fine and up to one year in prison. A non-citizen convicted of this offense is liable to deportation without permission for reentry in the future.
Hiring an immigration and criminal defense lawyer is crucial to protect yourself if you are an immigrant charged with a criminal offense. They are experts in immigration law and will do their best to reduce charges or protect your immigration status.