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Domestic violence case and deportation

San Jose, CA |

I am charged with misdemeanor domestic violence. I have not plead guilty to any charges but my case will go to the trial and I am preparing for the worst. If I am convicted, am I going to get deported automatically? I have a citizenship application in process so that's concerning.

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Attorney answers 4


You should contact an immigration attorney immediately and especially prior to entering into any plea agreement. Deportation proceedings are not imminent unless you plea or are convicted of a crime that triggers immigration consequences. Many times, your initial charge can be reduced to a charge that does not trigger deportation proceedings. Your criminal attorney should be working in concert with an immigration attorney to assure that whatever the end result of the criminal case is, your chances of deportation are lessened.

Russell Tracey Doncouse

Russell Tracey Doncouse


Whenever a criminal defense attorney uses the term "plea in abeyance" it is time to run, not walk, to an immigration attorney. I am beyond tired of seeing these cases in removal proceedings or having clients swear they do not have convictions when doing intakes, only to find out they have a domestic violence "abeyance" plea, and they client blabbering about how it isn't a conviction. Either your attorney didn't care, and was waiving from his side of the border when he plead you out, or you were guilty and they could not change that one screaming fact.


A domestic violence conviction can have serious immigration consequences. While you might not be deported, you will likely be prevented from returning to the US if you leave. What I have done with cases like this is get a Plea in Abeyance to lead to a dismissal. In tougher cases/DAs, get the charge changed to a 242 battery, stipulate to facts that remove the domestic violence components because ICE can look at the facts of the case beyond the type of conviction. Otherwise go to trial.


I agree with the answer's of my colleagues. A domestic violence conviction can have serious immigration implications. You should contact an experienced immigration attorney as well as an experienced criminal law attorney immediately.


It should also be noted that, independent of the criminal case, the alleged victim may file for a restraining order in the Family Law Court under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act (DVPA), which may also have serious immigration implications. If that occurs, you should contact an experienced family law attorney immediately.

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