Understanding How A Criminal Conviction Impacts Immigration
Being charged with a crime is difficult on its own. However, individuals who are charged with a crime and who are not naturalized citizens of the United States are facing additional consequences if they are convicted. Having a green card or being a permanent resident of the U.S., even if you have been here for decades, does not mean you are not at risk if convicted of a crime. If you find yourself facing criminal charges and are concerned about your immigration status as a result, talk to us.
At the Law Offices of James N. Papirmeister, P.C., our firm understands how confusing and scary it can be to face charges that may change the entire course of your life in this country. Attorney James N. Papirmeister has 34 years of criminal defense experience and extensive knowledge of how convictions may affect immigration. He works tirelessly to see that your rights are protected and freedom to stay in the U.S. is preserved whenever possible.
Why You Need An Attorney
Oftentimes, a noncitizen will go into court on a drug charge or other offense thinking that they do not need a lawyer and can handle the situation on their own. This may result in the individual agreeing to a lesser charge and/or pleading guilty. This may seem like the better option, especially if it carries a smaller fine, no time in jail and no additional probation requirements. At this point, one may think the matter is closed. However, people in this situation often learn when it is too late that they have just set themselves up for being deported. Even walking out of state court on a misdemeanor charge and a small fine can result in a person being arrested and detained in a federal immigration jail for a year while waiting for an almost certain deportation.
Padilla vs. Kentucky, a Supreme Court decision from 2010, instituted a number of new requirements for any and all criminal defense lawyers to be very conscious and thorough when representing a noncitizen in a criminal case. It is appropriate for the criminal defense lawyer to add an immigration lawyer to the criminal defense team in order to adequately represent a client. James N. Papirmeister frequently has clients work with him in conjunction with an immigration lawyer when that client is not a citizen of the United States.
Deportation And Removal From The Country
The judges handling criminal cases are unable to intervene when the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has decided to initiate a deportation removal case against the noncitizen who was convicted of a crime. It may proceed, regardless of any efforts the judge attempts to make in the criminal case. If the ICE case is completed, they may be ordered to leave the country permanently and unable to even visit. This is the case even if the individual has not been to or lived in his or her country of origin in years. Permanent deportation can have an incredibly emotional affect on an entire family, leaving spouses, children and other loved ones here while the convicted individual must start a new life elsewhere.
This is another reason why it is essential for any noncitizen to have an experienced lawyer on their side when going to court on the criminal charge, and consult with that attorney before speaking with anyone about the case. This includes prior to discussing the matter with an officer.