In Wisconsin, as in the rest of the United States, non-U.S. citizens must be aware of how certain criminal convictions could affect their immigration status. Below, we explore various criminal offenses, their possible repercussions on immigration status, and how an immigration lawyer can help.
Crimes That Could Affect Immigration Status
If you are a non-U.S. citizen, a criminal conviction in any of the following categories could have serious implications for your immigration status:
- Aggravated Felonies: This category includes serious crimes like murder and drug trafficking. Even some less severe crimes can fall under this category when combined with specific circumstances. Aggravated felonies often lead to deportation and bar re-entry into the U.S.
- Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude (CIMT): These are offenses that reflect poorly on one’s moral character. Examples include fraud, theft, and some forms of assault. A conviction for a CIMT can result in deportation, particularly if it occurs within five years of admission to the U.S.
- Drug-Related Offenses: Apart from a single offense of possessing 30 grams or less of marijuana, any drug-related conviction can have severe immigration consequences. This includes the possession, distribution, or manufacture of any controlled substances.
- Domestic Violence: Convictions for domestic violence, stalking, or violations of protection orders can result in deportation from the U.S. Federal courts take these crimes seriously due to their impact on families and public safety.
- Firearm Offenses: Unauthorized possession or trafficking of firearms can lead to immigration issues. U.S. law takes these offenses seriously due to the threat they pose to public safety.
- Fraud and Money Laundering: Crimes involving deception for personal gain, like fraud or money laundering, can also affect immigration status.
How an Immigration Lawyer Can Help
Facing criminal charges in the U.S. as a non-citizen is an intimidating prospect, but you don’t have to do it alone. A knowledgeable lawyer can help you navigate the legal system by explaining your rights and the potential implications of your charges or a conviction on your immigration status.
Your immigration defense lawyer will start by thoroughly assessing your case. They’ll identify the best legal strategies to defend you in court, aiming to reduce or dismiss your charges. This step is essential because certain convictions could lead to deportation or prevent you from becoming a permanent resident or citizen.
If you have already been convicted, your lawyer can work to minimize the conviction’s impact on your immigration status. They can explore options like appealing the conviction, seeking a pardon, or applying for waivers that might allow you to stay in the U.S.
If you must appear in court, your immigration defense lawyer can represent you and advocate on your behalf. They can present evidence and arguments supporting your case, ensuring the court understands your side of the story.
Contact a Wisconsin Immigration Defense Attorney Now
Hiring an immigration defense lawyer offers you the best chance to defend yourself against criminal charges and protect your rights as a non-citizen in the U.S. Contact the Wisconsin immigration attorneys at Stroud, Willink & Howard, LLC, today to learn more in an initial case review.