CRIMINAL CHARGES, CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS AND IMMIGRATION

Criminal conviction and sometimes even plain criminal charges can create problems for lawful permanent residents and those who are in the process of applying for lawful permanent residency or even a visa. Criminal convictions and sometimes even plain criminal charges can lead to inadmissibility and removability. It is crucial that when someone who is not a U.S. citizen gets charged with a crime to seek representation in their criminal proceeding by a professional who is also versed in immigration law. In our office we specialize in immigration and law and we also represent clients in criminal matters.

For example, we represent client who have been charged with crimes that are considered crimes of moral turpitude for immigration purposes, such as theft, prostitution, fraud, and many other crimes that can have serious consequences for a lawful permanent resident and a person who is applying for lawful permanent residency. These crimes theft, prostitution and fraud are most of the time charged as misdemeanors with little or no jail time but they are crimes of moral turpitude and if a lawful permanent residents has two convictions that involve crimes of moral turpitude then they are removable from the United States. Once they are put in removal proceedings then their chance of keeping the green card will depend on any defenses available to them, and sometimes these individuals will get removed back to their home countries for misdemeanors that are moral turpitude crimes. We recently represented a green card holder in immigration removal proceedings who had two misdemeanor convictions under the California Vehicle Code, one for evading and officer and the other for leaving a scene of an accident, both crimes of moral turpitude in the mind of Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE). When he finished his sentence ICE put a hold on him so he could not leave after serving his time and then he was immediately put in removal proceedings This person had a green card and lived in the U.S. for over 20 years and also had family in the United States. Regardless of that he was now was facing removal back to his home country because of these convictions. In this case we were able to defend our client in immigration court but not everybody is that lucky or have good defenses against removal.

In another case we were representing an applicant for a green card who had some arrests for prostitution, and only one conviction for the same. Prostitution is a misdemeanor but for immigration purposes it is not only a crime of moral turpitude but also an offense that makes an applicant inadmissible and therefore ineligible for the green card. In that case, we were able to defend our client in immigration court and get them a waiver of inadmissibility and ultimately we were able to get them a green card. However, it was a tough fight and we had to work very hard to get that victory for the client.

Therefore, to avoid the harsh immigration consequences of a criminal charge it is crucial for a non U.S. citizen who is charged even with a misdemeanor to immediately seek that assistance of an attorney who has background in both immigration and criminal law to best represent them in their case. We are here to help to get you the best results.

We work with our clients to explore the best options for them based on their immigration status before entering a plea in the criminal case or decide to take the criminal case to trial. We have been successful in negotiating pleas to our clients that had no negative immigration consequences and therefore, after their criminal case was completed they did not have to worry about being deported from the United States, or worry about not being able to get their green cards if they were applicants waiting to adjust status.

When it comes to immigration and crimes you cannot leave it up to chance and it is in your interest to take all the…

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