In a previous blog, we discussed the various statuses an alien may have in the United States and the rights that are associated with those statuses. It is important to keep in mind that these statuses can be affected by criminal convictions. Under 8 USC 1101(a)(48), a conviction is defined as a formal judgment of guilt entered by a court, a finding of guilty by a judge or jury, the entrance of a guilty plea or nolo contendere by the alien or admittance of sufficient facts to warrant a finding of guilty when the judge has ordered some form of punishment, penalty or restraint on the alien’s liberty. This broad classification includes pleas under the Holmes Youthful Training Act.
So what exactly are the ramifications of a criminal conviction? Convictions can make aliens removable or inadmissible. Removal (or deportation) involves a hearing before an immigration judge. Inadmissibility applies to aliens who are seeking entry into the United States or aliens who are currently in on U.S. soil and are attempting to obtain permanent status through a green card. Illegal aliens are typically considered both removable and inadmissible.
The effects a conviction may have depend on the nature of the crime. For example, crimes of moral turpitude such violent crimes or crimes involving theft or fraud that are punishable for more than a year may render an alien removable or inadmissible. Further, multiple convictions of crimes with moral turpitude can result in removal and detention.
If you are an alien facing criminal charges, it is extremely important that you seek the help of an experienced attorney who understands your status in the United States. The attorneys at Garmo & Kiste, PLC have handled many cases and will select ideal tactics when handling your case in order to achieve the best possible outcome. Contact Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.