Reducing The Impact Of Criminal Proceedings On Your Immigration Opportunities
If you are living in the United States as a permanent resident or visa holder, and you are arrested and charged with a crime, you could face serious immigration consequences. A criminal conviction can put you in removal (deportation) proceedings. It is estimated that the number of deportations from the United States is expected to increase to more than 400,000 every year.
At Pastor & Associates P.C., our immigration attorneys can help you reduce or avoid the immigration consequences of criminal proceedings. Not all lawyers or law firms are equal in their knowledge of the law. Because of the severe consequences you may face if you are convicted or plead guilty, you will need an experienced immigration attorney. Our lawyers have extensive experience and a respected reputation. We understand the severity of this situation and have successfully handled numerous criminal immigration cases.
The Potential Immigration Consequences Before Entering A Plea In A Court Of Law
There are two groups that are of special concern to us – nonresidents and lawful permanent residents (green card holders). With these immigration statuses, the issues are more complex, since you have to face both criminal and immigration consequences. The possible legal penalties if you are arrested can be harsh, so we strongly urge you to get immediate immigration advice before entering a plea in court of law.
If you’re a green card holder, a criminal case could affect your ability to obtain citizenship through naturalization. The requirements for becoming a citizen are very strict, and having a criminal record could make it nearly impossible for you to succeed.
Why Immigration Guidance Is So Critical
Immigration guidance is critical when navigating criminal proceedings. The United States Supreme Court thought it was important enough to make the following statement in giving their decision on the importance of a noncitizen giving a guilty plea when represented by legal counsel:
“The importance of accurate legal advice for noncitizens accused of crimes has never been more important.” – Padilla v. Commonwealth of Kentucky, 559 U.S. 356 (2010)
The Supreme Court ruled in this case that an attorney representing a noncitizen must inform the accused that, should they enter a guilty plea before a court, the admission could result in deportation. According to the court record, Jose Padilla claimed that his attorney “told him not to worry about deportation since he had lived in this country so long.” Padilla had lived in the United States for more than 40 years.
Don’t Make An Irreversible Mistake
Being arrested does not mean you will immediately be deported. There are several ways to appeal a decision made by an immigration officer or judge. What you need to understand is that once you enter the legal system, competent and adequate legal representation is a must. The proceedings can be confusing, and not knowing how to navigate the system can result in a permanent and irreversible decision against you.
Let Us Help
Our firm provides guidance for noncitizens involved in criminal proceedings and works with clients to minimize the legal consequences of their actions. Whether you are currently facing criminal proceedings or have already been convicted, we are available to help protect your immigration status. To find out more about your options, contact us immediately by phone at 248-987-0757 or through our website. Our attorneys speak various languages.