To many, the United States represents hope, a beacon for new beginnings and aspirations. Yet, an immigrant’s journey in this country can sometimes involve unforeseen challenges. A momentary misstep leading to criminal charges can raise questions and anxieties. If you are a non-U.S. citizen facing criminal charges, you might wonder what this means for your future and whether the charges will affect your family.
In the face of such vital questions, you can empower yourself by learning more about the potential consequences of criminal charges. In this blog post, the Las Vegas immigration lawyers at De Castroverde Law Group explain which offenses are deportable under the law, how criminal charges impact admissibility, and how our defense lawyers could help. Keep reading to learn more, or contact our office for a confidential consultation.
Deportable Offenses Under U.S. Immigration Law
Under federal law, a non-U.S. citizen convicted of specific crimes in the United States is deportable. Deportable offenses generally fall under one of the following categories:
- Crimes of moral turpitude (CIMT) – While the law does not specify the crimes that fall under this category, some of the crimes that have qualified as CIMT in immigration cases include murder, voluntary manslaughter, rape, and sexual battery.
- Multiple criminal convictions – A non-U.S. citizen convicted of two or more CIMT arising from multiple schemes of criminal misconduct is deportable.
- Aggravated felony
- High-speed flight from an immigration checkpoint
- Failure to register as a sex offender
- A non-U.S. citizen convicted of violating (or conspiracy or attempt to violate) any state, federal, or foreign law relating to a controlled substance, other than a single offense involving possession for one’s own use of 30 grams or less of marijuana, is deportable.
- A non-U.S. citizen who has ever been a drug abuser or “addict” is deportable.
Certain Firearm Offenses
- A non-U.S. citizen convicted of purchasing, selling, offering for sale, exchanging, using, owning, possessing, or carrying, or of attempting or conspiring to purchase, sell, offer for sale, exchange, use, own, possess, or carry, any weapon, part, or accessory which is a firearm or destructive device in violation of any law is deportable.
A non-U.S. citizen convicted of committing or conspiring or attempting to commit any of the following crimes is deportable:
- Any crime relating to espionage, sabotage, or treason and sedition that carries a prison sentence of five or more years is deportable.
- Threats against the President or the Presidency
- Any violation of the Military Selective Service Act or the Trading With the Enemy Act
Crimes of Domestic Violence, Stalking, or Violation of a Protection Order, and Crimes Against Children
- A non-U.S. citizen convicted of domestic violence, stalking, child abuse, child neglect, or child abandonment is deportable.
- A non-U.S. citizen who violates a protection order involving protection against credible threats of violence, repeated harassment, or bodily injury is deportable.
- A non-U.S. citizen who commits or conspires to commit human trafficking offenses inside or outside the U.S. is deportable.
- A non-U.S. citizen who is the spouse or child of a non-U.S. citizen who committed or conspired to commit human trafficking and, within the previous five years, benefitted financially or otherwise from the illicit activity while knowing or having reason to know that the benefit was the product of trafficking is deportable.
Minor Offenses Can Trigger Immigration Consequences
Convictions for some minor offenses, while not grounds themselves for deportation, can lead to other immigration consequences. For example, a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) can be a basis for denying release on bond from immigration detention, or it can trigger an evaluation for alcoholism, which can be grounds for deportation. It can also complicate future immigration-related processes, such as visa renewals or applications for relief.
How Criminal Charges Impact Admissibility to the U.S.
For non-U.S. citizens, the consequences of criminal charges often extend beyond the immediate repercussions of being deported. Convictions for certain crimes can make a non-U.S. citizen “inadmissible” to the U.S., meaning the person can never legally re-enter the country. A person barred from ever entering the U.S. again is “inadmissible.” The grounds for inadmissibility under federal law generally fall under several categories, including grounds related to health, criminal convictions, and national security.
Convictions for certain crimes can lead not only to deportation but also to inadmissibility. For instance, a non-U.S. citizen convicted of committing crimes involving moral turpitude (CIMT) or attempting or conspiring to commit CIMT is inadmissible. A non-U.S. citizen convicted of violating (or attempting or conspiring to violate) a state, federal, or foreign law relating to a controlled substance is also inadmissible. Furthermore, a non-U.S. citizen convicted of two or more offenses, regardless of whether the crimes arose from a single scheme or were CIMT, for which imprisonment is five years or more, is inadmissible.
Criminal Charges Can Also Impact Immigrants’ Families
When non-U.S. citizens face criminal charges, their families can also feel the impact. For the children of non-U.S. citizens, deportations of parents or other family members can have serious consequences. According to the American Immigration Council, a child’s risk of experiencing mental health problems significantly increases following the detention or deportation of a parent. Furthermore, it puts these children at risk of economic instability, leading to higher poverty rates among U.S.-citizen children with parents who are non-U.S. citizens.
How Our Las Vegas Immigration Defense Lawyers Can Help
If you or a loved one is a non-U.S. citizen facing criminal charges, you need practical, dedicated legal representation to protect your rights. At De Castroverde Law Group, we understand what’s at stake for immigrants and their families when criminal charges are involved. With a depth of experience and a keen understanding of the intricacies of immigration law, we are equipped to offer a strategic defense, ensuring your rights are protected and advocating for the best possible outcomes. Your future, and the future of your loved ones, is too valuable to leave to chance. Call (702) 996-4860 or complete our contact form for a confidential consultation with our Las Vegas immigration defense lawyers.