Inland Empire Criminal Defense

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Immigration Consequences for Criminal Convictions

I. Immigration Consequences

People who live in the United States on a temporary basis, while on a Green card, or as a temporary Resident, face much more harsh consequences by receiving a criminal conviction. Non-U.S. citizens who are convicted of misdemeanor or felony crimes may be deported from the United States as a result of the criminal conviction under specific circumstances.

Further, people who are not United States citizens, a conviction can also result in denial of naturalization or citizenship in the future.

Because of these issues, it is extremely important to always be honest with your Criminal Defense Attorney about what your status is. Telling your attorney that you are a citizen, when you are not even documented, will only hurt you. That is because other avenues of Immigration Safe Plea Bargains cannot be looked into without your attorney knowing your situation.

II. What are the types of charges do I need to take extra care about in a criminal case?

There are three categories of charges that should be avoided when talking about a plea bargain:

  1. A moral turpitude crime,
  2. A crime of violence, or
  3. An aggravated felony. 

These types of crimes result in harsh consequences for immigrant clients. Keep in mind that Immigration Law is Federal law, not California Law, so these are not generally the types of charges you find in California Criminal charges. Instead, it is how a Federal Court interprets or understands the State Criminal Charges. That is why you will not find these examples in a Penal Code section. Federal Law is always changing, and becoming more and more severe and difficult for people to remain in the United States. Matters are also made worse if a Non-U.S. citizen already has a prior record before picking up one of the above three categories of charges.

III. What are the differences between the types of crimes to avoid pleading guilty to?

An aggravated felony is any felony conviction where the jail or prison sentence is longer than one year. Therefore, if you plead guilty to a charge of PC 288(a) (Link), and are sentenced to 3 years in State Prison, Federal Law would consider this an aggravated felony. This would mean you could be convicted or plead guilty to this charge, and upon your date of release, an I.C.E. agent picks you up from prison, and transports you to Immigration custody, to begin deportation proceedings.

crime of moral turpitude is known as a bad thought, crime such as drug sales (link), murder (link), grand theft (link), robbery (link), burglary (link), sex crimes (link to PC 288(a), perjury (link), welfare fraud (link), etc. These cases happen while you have an evil thought or design while carrying out the criminal offense. This is why theft charges, where you are dealing with stealing from another, are evil thoughts, and characterized as Crimes of Moral Turpitude. 

This is why crimes like DUI (link), possession of a deadly weapon or Drunk in Public (link) are not generally considered crimes of moral turpitude under Federal Law.

crime of violence is any crime that is committed by using violence such as robbery (link), rape (link), domestic violence (link), kidnapping (link), hostage taking (link), murder (link), etc. However, crimes like grand theft or involuntary manslaughter do not always involve violence. Grand theft, for example, can be accomplished without the driver or owner of the vehicle even being present. Whereas robbery, requires another person present for the crime to be accomplished.

IV. How can the right attorney help you?

In many cases your attorney can negotiate a criminal conviction in such a way as to avoid deportation for the immigrant client. This is where immigration safe pleas come into play. This occurs when your attorney is able to speak with the prosecutor in order to reduce your charge to something that is not one of the three categories above. An experience criminal defense attorney will generally know when a crime could lead to possible immigration attorneys.

Sometimes, an immigration attorney and a criminal defense attorney can work together to ascertain the immigrant’s exceptions to deportation (Amnesty, Waiver, Asylum, etc) in light of the chances of success at a jury trial. It is not always possible to enter into a plea agreement to a different charge, but any person charged with a crime that would lead to deportation is required to advise their client of these potential problems. 

If you cannot change the name of the criminal charge, there is also the possibility changing the sentence associated with the charge, or by changing the language in the criminal conviction. For example, if a person is in custody for several months, they can enter into a plea agreement for less than 365 days, but they can waive the time they have credit for. No person wants to do this, as it gives them more custody time, but it is sometimes your only option if you could face deportation.

United States born citizens cannot be deported. Both legal and illegal immigrants may be deported upon certain criminal convictions. Green card holders, permanent resident aliens, immigrants with work permits or travel visas are not completely protected from deportation upon certain criminal convictions. 

VI. Call Today

At Inland Empire Criminal Defense, we recognize that criminal charges often come with complex implications, especially when it comes to immigration consequences. Our Ontario Criminal Defense attorney brings extensive experience in handling criminal cases with potential immigration ramifications, ensuring a defense strategy that accounts for both the immediate legal challenges and the broader implications on your immigration status.

Understanding the intricate interplay between criminal law and immigration, our law firm collaborates closely with a network of highly experienced and supportive Immigration attorneys. This multidisciplinary approach ensures that you receive holistic representation, addressing not just the criminal charges but also providing guidance on potential immigration consequences of a guilty plea.

Why Choose Inland Empire Defense?

  • Specialized Knowledge: Our attorney’s expertise in criminal cases with possible immigration consequences ensures a defense that’s both informed and strategic, tailored to protect your rights on multiple fronts.
  • Collaborative Approach: By working closely with seasoned Immigration attorneys, we offer comprehensive support, ensuring you have access to expert advice on all aspects of your case, including potential immigration outcomes.
  • Dedicated Representation: We are committed to understanding and safeguarding your rights, not just within the criminal court system but across any collateral issues that may arise, particularly those related to immigration.

Protect Your Future with Inland Empire Defense

Facing criminal charges is daunting, especially when considering the potential impact on your immigration status. Inland Empire Defense, located in Ontario, is here to provide the skilled and compassionate representation you need during this challenging time.

Contact Inland Empire Defense Today

If you’re dealing with criminal charges and are concerned about the potential immigration consequences, don’t hesitate to reach out to Inland Empire Defense at 909-939-7126. As your local Rancho Cucamonga Criminal Defense Attorney, we’re ready to stand by your side, offering the guidance and support you need to navigate through this complex legal landscape. Let us be your ally in protecting your rights and securing your future.

Frequently Asked Questions

Absolutely, Inland Empire Criminal Defense prioritizes your privacy and confidentiality. Every consultation with our attorney is conducted with the utmost discretion, ensuring your information remains secure and private.

Yes, understanding the financial pressures that can come with legal representation, our attorney offers flexible payment plans. This approach ensures that quality legal defense is accessible for all our clients in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Yes, Inland Empire Criminal Defense offers free consultations. This is part of our commitment to providing accessible and transparent legal services to residents of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

We offer both in-person and over-the-phone consultations to accommodate your preferences and needs. Whether you’re in Riverside, San Bernardino, or Los Angeles County, we ensure that you can access our legal services in the way that suits you best.

Our office is typically closed on weekends. However, we do make exceptions for meetings by special arrangement. Our commitment is to be as accommodating as possible to meet the unique needs of our clients in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties.

Our legal services are specifically tailored to residents of Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles Counties. For cases outside these areas, we recommend consulting to find appropriate legal assistance. Our focused approach allows us to provide specialized defense catering to the unique legal landscape of these counties.

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