Immigration Law and Criminal Defense
The existence of a prior criminal conviction can result in the revocation of your immigration status and can ultimately lead to deportation. A pending criminal charge must be handled properly to in order protect your immigration status.
Rogers & Rogers is an immigration law firm with extensive experience in criminal matters as they affect immigration status. We can examine the issues your case presents, determine the possible effects on your immigration status and provide you with proactive solutions to your problem to protect your immigration status.
Call us at 412.434.7500 or 704.372.7222 to arrange for a consultation.
Criminal Offenses and Deportation
Our office has counseled immigrants either facing criminal charges or with criminal convictions and who are facing possible deportation due to arrests or convictions for the following:
- Drug possession and distribution
- Assault and Battery
- Theft and Robbery
- Weapons violations
- Multiple forms of Fraud
- Sexual offenses
- Most Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude
Not All Convictions Are Equal
U.S. immigration law makes distinctions between different types of crimes. A crime of moral turpitude for example may result in your deportation, while a conviction on a similar charge which is not considered to be a crime of moral turpitude may not. This can be true even if the penalties for the two charges are similar. The task then is to analyze the possible effect of particular charges on a person's visa status.
Many criminal defense attorneys do not understand the effect on a client's immigration status of a guilty plea for a criminal charge. At Rogers & Rogers, we are regularly sought out for advice on the immigration implications of criminal charges and we work closely with criminal defense attorneys in these situations. If you are a criminal defense attorney representing a foreign national or if you are an individual currently working with a defense attorney, Rogers & Rogers can help you. We can discuss the issues in your case from an immigration law perspective and inform you if there is a way to proceed that does not or will minimize the affect on your immigration status.
Fighting Deportation after an Arrest
After the attacks on September 11, 2001, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has increased deportations of immigrants convicted in criminal cases. As a result, immigrants can face deportation for pleading guilty to a lesser charge or if they have a criminal record in their home country. Typically, a decision to deport someone is determined by an Immigration judge or, in more limited circumstances, by Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE). However, appeals of these determinations can be filed with the Board of Immigration Appeals or the appropriate U.S. Court of Appeals.
In preparing an appeal, our attorneys review decisions made by lower courts in order to identify misapplications of the law or Constitutional issues. For instance, there may be language or cultural issues that interfered with your ability to understand the charges against you or your Miranda rights. As a result, your confession or plea may need to be thrown out or re-entered. Also, perhaps when you plead guilty to a criminal charge, you may have not known the immigration consequences of your plea which has led to efforts to remove you. In many jurisdictions, you may be able to withdraw your plea because you were not advised of these consequences. If, however, you are deported, our office can assist you with reentering the United States by preparing the appropriate I-601 and I-212 waiver packages to waive your inadmissibility to the United States. While you must remain outside of the United States while the waiver process in ongoing, these waivers could ultimately lead to your readmission to the United States after you are deported.
If there already is a conviction in the U.S. or an alien criminal record, it may be possible to obtain post-conviction relief that preserves your visa status — for example, getting the conviction vacated or reduced to a lesser charge. Rogers & Rogers can advise you, and if necessary work with your defense lawyer or refer you to qualified counsel.
Our firm also conducts an aggressive deportation defense practice and will work to prevent your removal and preserve your residency status.
For a consultation with Rogers & Rogers, call our Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania office at 412.434.7500, our Charlotte, North Carolina office at 704.372.7222, or send us an e-mail.