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If a person commits a crime while in the United States, he or she can be scheduled for removal. This is true whether or not a person is a permanent resident or has no legal status. It may also be true whether the crime is a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the individual’s previous criminal history. Those who are accused of a crime while in the country may benefit from speaking with an attorney as soon as possible.
Your Criminal History Outside the United States Matters
An individual who has committed a crime outside of the United States could be considered someone who has a previous criminal history. In many cases, it doesn’t matter if those previous offenses were relatively minor or significant in nature. An attorney may be able to argue that past crimes were committed in an effort to avoid being hurt or nothing more than a kid making dumb choices. If successful, an individual may be allowed to stay in the country pending further hearings.
Aggravated Felonies Can Lead to Immediate Deportation
People who are in the country illegally could be sent back to their home countries even if they are acquitted of committing a crime. Those who are in the United States on a green card or work visa may be sent home after being convicted of an aggravated felony. An example of an aggravated felony would be a driver who had a blood alcohol content of .18 or higher.
That driver could also be charged with an aggravated felony if he or she caused an accident while impaired. Legal counsel may be able to argue that an accident was the other driver’s fault or that there was no intent to drive while impaired. These arguments could lead to a plea in the drunk driving case and leniency in potential deportation proceedings.
Criminals Could Be Barred From Returning
If a person is deported from the United States because of a crime committed while here, it may not be possible to legally return. In some cases, that could mean a parent is separated from a child or a husband is separated from a wife or other family members. Therefore, it is important to be cleared of any legal wrongdoing even if the charge results in deportation. This is because an individual could have a chance to leave the country voluntarily and reapply for a visa.
There Is No Legal Right to an Attorney
It is important for those who are facing deportation because they have committed a crime that they aren’t entitled to an attorney during a deportation hearing. This is because it is not considered a criminal matter by the government. Therefore, anyone who is fighting to remain in the country will need to hire your own legal counsel.
It may be possible to find someone who is willing to take on the case for free or at a reduced rate. The attorney who is handling the criminal case that led to the deportation proceedings could choose to act as counsel in both matters. That person could also provide more information about local agencies that provide legal services.
The Odds of Staying In America Are Better With Help
While an individual isn’t entitled to an attorney, that person’s odds of remaining in the United States are higher if he or she has one. This is because an attorney can point to strong ties in the community or other reasons why an individual isn’t a threat.
An attorney may also tell a judge more about the violence or other harsh conditions in a defendant’s home country. As a general rule, immigrants are taken more seriously when they have professional legal counsel as opposed to arguing cases on their own. It may also be easier to communicate as a lawyer can act as a translator for those who speak another language.
Anyone who has been accused of a crime is facing serious consequences if convicted. In some cases, an individual may be required to spend time in jail or prison prior to being deported back home. By consulting with an attorney, it may make it easier to avoid some or all penalties related to a misdemeanor or felony criminal charge.