Crimmigration defense is a term used to describe the intersection between criminal law and immigration law. When a person who is a non-citizen is charged with a criminal offense, both sections of law will come into play. At Hickey & Chung LLP, we have a breadth of knowledge and skill in both immigration law and criminal law and offer legal counsel for non-citizens charged with crimes and who face the threat of deportation, along with criminal penalties such as fines and jail time.
Criminal charges filed against non-citizens: The risks
Immigration law in the USA has become ever more complex, and in recent years, ICE files removal proceedings for immigrants who are charged or convicted of an offense. This has wreaked havoc on the lives of some legal immigrants, as well as undocumented immigrants. The USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) has criteria for those applying for immigration status, including that the applicant must be of “good moral character.” The legal theory is that being charged or convicted of a crime is no longer eligible due to a lack of good moral character. This can be the supporting reason for deportation or removal, no matter how small the crime.
What crimes can result in deportation?
A range of serious felonies can lead to deportation, such as:
- Violent crimes
- Sex crimes
- Domestic abuse
- Aggravated assault
- Gun crimes
- Drug crimes
In recent years, far less serious crimes have led to removal proceedings, including:
- Petty theft crimes
- Domestic violence
- Public intoxication
Non-citizens who are arrested face removal proceedings and separation from their families. Pleading guilty to a minor misdemeanor can prove to be a disaster for a non-citizen. You need an attorney who is both an immigration lawyer and a criminal defense lawyer to take charge of your case.
Why contact Hickey & Chung?
At Hickey & Chung LLC, we are pleased to have a reputation for legal excellence both in immigration law and criminal defense. Ms. Naomi Chung, a partner in our firm, is certified in immigration law by the American University Washington College of Law, and her legal actions taken on behalf of non-citizen clients facing criminal charges have proven to be of great value.
We zealously defend the rights of non-citizens charged with crimes.
The outcome of your case can have a lifelong impact. It could leave you in a position where you can no longer live with your family and are returned to your home country, where you may not even speak the language or have family members to help you. Managing these cases correctly is an urgent matter, and the legal actions undertaken by your attorney must be initiated immediately – ICE can move very quickly with removal proceedings. A family member may have been detained already. Whatever your case involves, you need an experienced “crimmigration” attorney to get involved without delay.
Bay Area crimmigration lawyer: Defending criminal cases with immigration consequences
Our legal team could engage in several legal actions for you:
- Defending against the criminal charges
- Fighting to prevent deportation
- Preserving your admissibility for permanent legal status
- Post-conviction relief if removal proceedings have been initiated
Consequences of a conviction on non-citizens
Some criminal convictions will trigger removal proceedings, including a conviction for an aggravated felony offense. The consequences to a non-citizen can include:
- Denial of permission to enter the USA in the future
- Banned from seeking a visa or green card
- Banned from the right to seek asylum in the USA
Aggravated felonies are crimes that include a year or more of incarceration or losses to a victim of more than $10,000. Drug crimes, human trafficking, kidnapping, rape, bribery, forgery, perjury, counterfeiting, theft, receipt of stolen property, “crimes of moral turpitude,” and many other offenses carry penalties that include more than one year in prison. If you are facing criminal charges and are a non-citizen, your risk of deportation is now higher than ever, and you need legal counsel to assist you in seeking to avoid the serious consequences you may face. Call us today.