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Felony charge impacting immigration status

When immigrants come to the United States, they seek to remain in the nation for as long as their visa or green card allows them. In some cases, this timeframe could be cut short. When an immigrant in the U.S. on a green card or visa is accused of a felony, he or she could have their immigration status impacted, causing them to even face deportation from the country.

When an immigrant is charged with a felony, immigration officials could deport the accused or down grade their status if he or she is convicted of the crime. This could even occur when there is a misdemeanor or other conviction; however, this depends upon their current status, the offense of which they are accused and the facts of the particular case.

Even more so, when a conviction involves crimes of moral turpitude or those considered aggravated felonies, these could carry additional burdens or consequences for people who are not yet citizens. Immigrants who are convicted of these crimes are generally found ineligible for relief from deportation, often barring them from returning to the country in the future.

When aggravated felonies are involved, it is important to note that for immigration purposes, this includes some offenses that are considered misdemeanors for U.S. citizens. These include theft, simple battery, filing fraudulent tax returns, failure to appear in court and more.

Because the consequences can be severe, it is important that immigrants accused of a felony understand their rights and options. This could help them reduce or dismiss the charges against them, helping them avoid harsh penalties and remain in the country.

Source: Findlaw.com, "How Does a Felony Affect Immigration Status?" accessed Feb. 10, 2018

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