If you’re an immigrant who is facing criminal charges, you certainly have a lot to think about. Odds are that your concern centers largely around your future and the life you’ve created for yourself in the United States. Is this charge, even if it seems like a minor one, going to affect your life? Are you at risk of losing everything you have been working for all this time?
Naturally, it does depend on the specifics of the charges that you face. However, it is clear that you need to understand not just your criminal defense options, but all of the legal ramifications of your status as an immigrant.
Can you be deported?
You can be deported for many crimes. Felonies and serious crimes often carry these types of significant ramifications. But what if you did something that has been classified as a misdemeanor? Is any crime enough to get you deported?
Not always, but it can happen. Many people get a misdemeanor, pay a fine, and are allowed to stay in the U.S. Others are deported or threatened with deportation. It largely depends on how the crime is classified and what the judge thinks of that specific event.
For instance, the following are not aggravated felonies in all cases, but they may be looked at as crimes of moral turpitude. Depending on the scale and the details, they could result in deportation, even below the felony level:
- Embezzlement of funds from a business, a corporation, a religious organization or some similar source.
- Committing perjury by making untrue statements while under oath, such as those made in court during a criminal case.
- Assaulting another person in a way that does not qualify as self-defense. Remember that assault doesn’t always have to be physical.
- Shoplifting from a local store or stealing from a business in another manner.
- Committing any type of fraud, such as tax fraud.
When these crimes are seen as morally reprehensible, the government has a bit more power to deport someone, even if the accusations are relatively minor. As such, if you’re facing charges of any type, it’s crucial for you to know about all of the legal options that you have.