There are many surprisingly common criminal offenses that can put a non-citizen at risk of deportation:
- With an exception for marijuana, just about any drug conviction can lead to deportation. In fact, even the allegation that someone is addicted to drugs can lead to deportation.
- Any offense related to domestic violence can lead to deportation.
- The definition of a crime of “moral turpitude” is broad. If a person could have received a sentence of at least 1 year for a crime, the crime may be one of moral turpitude. Those who have been in the United States for less than 5 years face deportation for even just one crime of moral turpitude, and two such offenses are grounds to deport any non-citizen.
- Certain crimes involving dishonesty like theft, fraud and perjury can be what the law calls aggravated felonies. A person convicted of an aggravated felony will probably face deportation and could find fighting removal to be an uphill battle.
Particularly if a South Florida resident has made a life for themselves in this country and have family members in the United States, getting deported over a single bad decision is a severe consequence.
Moreover, sometimes criminal courts unfortunately convict people of crimes they did not commit.
Sometimes, the best immigration defense to deportation for a conviction is to challenge the conviction itself. Immigration attorneys should at least have some basic knowledge about how to do this and should be able to point people in the right direction.
But there are also situations in which a person convicted of a deportable crime can argue to an immigration judge that they deserve to remain in the United States.
Whether a person is eligible to ask for this leniency will depend on their circumstances. No matter what, they should understand that making such a request will require them to navigate through the legal system and present a compelling case.
Those who are facing deportation for a conviction should know their options
The stakes are high when a Miami-area resident may get removed from the country. Those who are facing deportation for a criminal conviction need to make sure they understand their options.