Something criminal defense attorneys should be very aware of is that defendants who are not United States citizens and are found guilty of, or plead guilty to, certain crimes may face deportation from the United States. Deportation is one of the worst possible scenarios for many defendants, as it could result in them leaving their families and livelihoods behind in the United States.
There are certain categories of crimes that can often trigger the immigration consequence of deportation. The first category is called “aggravated felonies,” though certain misdemeanors are included, as well. In this first category are theft crimes and crimes of violence, such as assault, DUI, and any crime that carries a potential sentence of more than 1 year of imprisonment.
The second category of crime that can trigger deportation is “crimes of moral turpitude.” In general, this encompasses crimes with intent to defraud or steal, crimes with an intentional or reckless infliction of harm to person or property, crimes with some sort of malice, and sex crimes. Thus, courts have held that murder, rape, burglary, white collar crimes, and more are considered crimes of moral turpitude.
The third category of crimes that can lead to deportation includes crimes that are specifically listed in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This category includes most drug crimes, domestic violence, PPO violations, and firearm offenses.
We recommend contacting a highly-skilled defense lawyer
This list is not meant to be all inclusive, and it is very possible that a conviction for any other type of crime could also result in harm to ones immigration status. That is why we recommend contacting a highly-skilled defense lawyer who knows and understands the deportation consequences of a guilty plea or conviction. As you can see, there are many criminal charges that could cause difficulty for a person who is not a citizen of the United States. If you are not a citizen and are facing a criminal prosecution, you need to make sure your criminal defense attorney is aware of your immigration status. At The Kronzek Firm PLC, we work with highly-qualified immigration attorneys to assist our clients with this issue. As a general proposition, no non-citizen should make a decision about entering a negotiated plea agreement without carefully considering the immigration consequences. We have helped numerous clients with these complex and difficult decisions and are available to consult with you or your loved one.