my friend who has been a legal permanent resident since he was an infant is on probation for a drug conviction which he plead guilty to last summer. He received a 2yrs suspended sentence and 2yrs probation. He completed a drug program and is a year away from getting a bachelor's degree. He was told by his lawyer that he is safe from removal proceeding while he is on probation. Is this true? Can he be deported while on probation and if so is there anything he can do to avoid this??? What possible probation/suspended sentence plea combination could have avoided this. In retrospect, he believes his lawyer did not correctly advise him based on his immigration status.
It depends. If he received a suspended sentence and is on probation, the ICE will likely assert he was convicted of a drug offense. A conviction for any crime related to controlled substance offense is not only a deportable offense, but also makes him subject to mandatory detention (no bond) once ICE begins the process. If this is the case, being on probation is not a safety net. ICE can institute proceedings at any time once the conviction is final. If your friend believes he was misadvised, then he should contact another attorney who handles criminal cases as well as immigration/deportation matters. See Link Below.