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Thursday, August 29, 2013

What Can Trigger Deportation?

Regardless of the manner in which a non-citizen entered the United States, the Department of Homeland Security and The Immigration and Naturalization Service has a directive concerning non-citizens and criminal convictions.

As the government "cracks down on illegals," many people may be subject to deportation after a conviction, including non-citizens who are in the country through a legal entry such as a work visa, student visa, resident aliens, spouses of citizens and persons waiting for approval of their citizenship.

What Can Trigger a Deportation?

Probation: Probation may trigger deportation, but the sentence does have to include a period of incarceration to affect your immigration status. 

Suspended Sentence: A sentence of 12 months that is suspended upon the payment of a fine or other condition may also trigger a deportation.

DUI, Driving without a License: A DUI or driving without a license can trigger a deportation.  Any non-citizen is subject to deportation once they are convicted of specific criminal acts and/or are sentenced to serve a sentence of one year or more.  Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol carries a mandatory sentence of 12 months and can trigger the deportation process.  And charges such as Driving without a License or Driving on a Suspended License also frequently include a sentence of 12 months.

Other Crimes: Crimes involving Moral Turpitude, Aggravated Felonies, Firearm or other weapon charges, Violation of the Controlled Substance Act all subject the non-citizen to deportation.  A conviction for Violation of a Protective Order or Restraining Order, crimes involving Domestic Violence, flight from an Immigration Checkpoint, and other offenses involving National Security or Registration Requirements may also result in deportation.

Juveniles: As a general rule, an offense committed by a juvenile does not trigger a deportation, nor does a minor offense committed by a person, under the age of 18 that meets certain criteria. But, the nature of the offense and the seriousness of the charges may be taken into consideration.

What should you do if you are charged with a crime?

Any non-citizen charged with a crime should immediately consult with an attorney with knowledge of Criminal Defense and Immigration issues before making any decisions or pleas to a criminal or quasi-criminal charge.   Together, you can carefully examine your situation and work toward the best possible outcome.

Smith, Welch, Webb and White is recognized as a premier law firm throughout the state of Georgia.   We have an uncompromising commitment to serving our clients and our community.   Our team of experts routinely handles a wide range of legal matters, and will provide outstanding service for you, your family or your business.  For more information on this topic, email Chris Chapman at cchapman@smithwelchlaw.com or call 770-389-4864.

 

Any representations regarding the law in this Blog is made available for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog publisher. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.


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