Actual Impact of Criminal Charges on Immigration Status
Criminal convictions may cause USCIS to deny an application, to start deportation proceedings or to detain or imprison a person. If you are not a U.S. citizen and you are facing criminal charges you should have your case reviewed by both an immigration lawyer and a criminal lawyer. Even seemingly simple, petty crimes such as shoplifting can cause a green card holder to be deported.
Two Types of Criminal Charges may result in Bad Immigration Consequences
(1). "Aggravated Felonies"- serious offenses, such as: theft, drugs, acts of violence, etc. (2). "Crimes of Moral Turpitude"- acts of moral deficiency, such as: shoplifting, fraud, assault battery with a weapon. Any conviction for an aggravated felony or a crime of moral turpitude can result in deportation or exclusion (denied entry into the U.S.). Any conviction for any crime may result in a denial of any application at the discretion of Immigration Service.
What is a Conviction for Immigration Purposes?
A conviction under Immigration law generally relates to the state criminal law where the offense occurred. A conviction is any admission of responsibility for a criminal charge made in court, even if it is not called a guilty plea. Generally, if you were ordered to pay a fine or placed on probation you have admitted responsibility or guilt. Therefore, you could be deported even if the case was dismissed and you only paid a fine. If facing deportation based on criminal matters you should immediately consult an experienced immigration lawyer.