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If I Am Convicted of a Crime, Will I Get Deported?

 Posted on March 30, 2022 in Immigration

Raleigh immigration and criminal defense lawyerThe short answer is maybe. In some cases, a criminal conviction can lead to deportation. In other cases, you may be allowed to serve any sentence you are given and remain in the country. The end result depends on several factors, including which crime you are convicted of. If you are not a U.S. citizen at the moment and get charged with a crime, it is very important that you contact an attorney who understands both criminal defense and immigration law. There is too much at stake for you to take any chances with your future in this country. Once you are convicted, the immigration court is likely to take that conviction at face value even if you later have grounds for getting it expunged or otherwise done away with. 

Which Crimes Can Lead to Deportation?

Minor misdemeanors usually do not trigger deportation proceedings, but some more serious misdemeanors can. The line between a deportable offense and a non-deportable offense is not the line between misdemeanors and felonies. Instead, the standard is that “crimes of moral turpitude” can get you deported even if you are here legally. This is not always a very well-defined standard, but it typically encompasses crimes that include some element of dishonesty or suggest that you are a danger to others. Additionally, some aggravated felonies will automatically trigger deportation.

Crimes that can lead to deportation include, but are certainly not limited to: 

  • DUI - Driving drunk is being taken increasingly seriously. 10 or 20 years ago, it may have been considered rather minor, but today it is a serious thing. The reasoning is that driving drunk puts everyone around you in danger and can reflect a lack of concern for others. However, if there were no aggravating factors, you had a license, and you did not actually cause any damage, it could fall under what is called the petty offense exception. 
  • Fraud - Fraud tends to reflect dishonesty and often does harm the victim significantly. 
  • Violent crimes - A person who commits a violent crime is likely to be considered dangerous. Immigration courts try to protect those who live in the United States, and these efforts often include deporting violent criminals. Domestic violence in particular is taken seriously even if it is charged as a misdemeanor. 
  • Drugs - Unless your drug conviction involves simple possession of cannabis for personal use, it could trigger deportation proceedings. Drug trafficking convictions almost always lead to deportation, as the drug trade does endanger communities. 

Your best bet is to avoid a conviction in the first place. 

Call a Wake County Criminal Defense and Immigration Attorney

At Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC, our attorneys are well-versed in both immigration law and criminal defense. Our Raleigh criminal defense and immigration lawyers will view your case as a whole and develop the strategy that is most likely to keep you in the U.S. Call 1-844-YO-PELEO for a free consultation. 




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