Anyone who breaks the law should face consequences. But non-citizens in the United States have even more to lose after an arrest. Therefore, if you are an immigrant facing criminal charges, you need a Colorado criminal immigration attorney to speak up for you and defend your future in the U.S.
Don’t Face the Justice System Alone
If you’re a non-citizen accused of breaking the law, then you’re vulnerable as both a criminal defendant and an immigrant. The wrong outcome could ruin your hopes of building a life in this country. Your best chance at keeping your plans on course is with a Colorado criminal immigration lawyer. Call 303-688-0944 for your free case assessment. Si gustarÍa hablar con nosotros en español, por favor llámenos al 720-359-2442.
What is Criminal Immigration?
Criminal immigration, or “crimmigration” as many people call it for short, is where criminal law meets immigration law. It is a specific practice tailored to U.S. non-citizens who have been arrested and/or charged with a crime. Non-citizens not only face the same fines or jail time as citizens for violating the law, but they could also get deported or blacklisted from obtaining citizenship, asylum, or even a green card.
Following an arrest, one of the biggest mistakes an immigrant or foreign visitor can make is to consult a regular criminal defense legal attorney who has no immigration law experience. Non-citizens need an attorney who practices both areas of law.
And that’s what criminal immigration attorneys do; these lawyers specialize in criminal and immigration law. They are able to assist clients through all stages of the criminal defense process, at immigration court hearings, and in immigration appeals.
Who is Considered a Non-Citizen?
While any non-citizen resident of the U.S. could face extra penalties through immigration after a criminal conviction, they are not necessarily treated equally under the law. Lawful permanent residents, or green card holders, get the benefit of the doubt more than “undocumented” individuals who have been arrested.
Here are the non-citizen categories:
- Legal permanent residents with green cards
- Visa holders, such as those on tourist visas, student visas and employment visas
- Individuals who are not legal residents, but remain in the U.S. on work permits
- Residents in the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program
- Individuals with Temporary Protected Status from designated countries
- Individuals with no legal status, also known as “undocumented”
Which Crimes Carry Immigration Consequences?
Both the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and 8 U.S. Code § 1227 say you can be deported or permanently denied a green card for pleading guilty to or being convicted of certain serious crimes. It’s a long list of offenses, including murder, rape, drug trafficking, and child pornography. Even slightly less serious crimes can still affect a non-citizen’s status.
Crimes that can carry immigration consequences include, but are not limited to:
- Trafficking stolen vehicles
- Tax evasion
- Obstruction of justice that merits at least one year in jail
- Receiving stolen property that merits at least one year in jail
- Theft that merits at least one year in jail
- Creating or using false documents that merits at least one year in jail
- Any violent crime that merits at least one year in jail
- Forgery that merits at least one year in jail
- False statements to federal agents or law enforcement
- Domestic violence
- Unlawful possession of a firearm or weapon
Speak to a Criminal Immigration Attorney First
If you are arrested by police, get a criminal immigration attorney before you talk to the police. Do not admit any wrongdoing, and never, ever enter a guilty plea for any crime without first talking with a Colorado criminal immigration attorney.
While U.S. citizens can plead guilty for a lighter punishment and move on with their lives, a non-citizen could face deportation and never being able to obtain a green card or naturalization. If you’re a non-citizen facing criminal charges, you need an attorney now more than ever. Call 303-688-0944 for your free case assessment. Si gustarÍa hablar con nosotros en español, por favor llámenos al 720-359-2442.