Generally speaking, you cannot be deported simply for being charged with a criminal offense.
This makes sense. Lawful permanent residents and other non-citizens who live in the Springfield area have the same rights as anyone else accused of a crime in Illinois’ courts. They are innocent until proven guilty.
However, certain types of criminal convictions can lead to deportation. The scary thing is that these rules even apply to lawful permanent residents, commonly called green-card holders. The rules apply even if a person has lived in the country since their childhood.
In the immigration courts, some criminal offenses are more serious than others. After some convictions, deportation is difficult to stop.
Other convictions might not require deportation, while immigration authorities do not even consider certain other convictions.
Sometimes, whether a conviction will serve as grounds for deportation will depend a lot on the facts and the exact nature of the criminal charges. The following are some general points:
Other than for marijuana, it is best to assume that a drug conviction can lead to deportation.
Most firearms offenses can lead to deportation.
Crimes of domestic violence, even if it is a first-time misdemeanor, can lead to deportation.
Convictions that carry possible jail sentences of 1 year, even if the person does not actually serve jail time, could put a person at risk for deportation depending on the circumstances.
One piece of good news is that simple drunk driving conviction which involves alcohol will not usually lead to deportation.
Non-citizens need to think about immigration consequences if they are accused
When facing a criminal charge, a non-citizen should be sure they understand the possible immigration consequences of a conviction, especially if they are effectively agreeing to a conviction by pleading guilty.
Many times, it may be in a non-citizen’s best interest to mount a defense to pending charges since their future in the United States could depend on it. They can demand that the prosecutor prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
The post I’ve been charged with a crime. Will I get deported? first appeared on W. Scott Hanken, Attorney at Law.