An arrest can put your immigration status in jeopardy. In fact, sometimes the most serious consequence of an arrest isn’t the fines or the jail time you may face—it’s the threat to your permission to remain in the United States legally.
If you fear the effect of an arrest on your immigration status, the first thing to know is that help is available. Let’s break down some crucial factors to help you better comprehend the impact of an arrest.
Deportation is a real threat for non-citizens who are accused of crimes in Texas. If you are not a citizen and are convicted of a crime for which you receive a jail or prison sentence, fines, community service, probation, or an order to pay court costs, the government has grounds to deport you.
Even just an arrest without a conviction can impact your immigration status. It can prevent you from demonstrating the good moral character necessary to become a citizen. If staying in the United States permanently is your goal, it’s critical to deal effectively with any legal trouble before it becomes a larger problem.
Some crimes carry a higher risk of deportation than others. For example, a conviction for a “crime of moral turpitude” is very likely to lead to deportation. Crimes of moral turpitude are ones that involve fraud, dishonesty, deceit, misrepresentation, or deliberate violence.
Other crimes that carry a high risk of deportation include:
- Domestic violence
- Theft offenses
- Drug crimes
- Offenses involving firearms
- Aggravated felonies
If you have been arrested for a misdemeanor or felony crime and are offered a plea bargain, consider the immigration consequences before accepting it. A plea might sound like a good idea, but taking a plea could result in immediate removal proceedings being instituted against you.
This is a critical point that your criminal defense attorney must understand before counseling you about the best course of action. If you have questions about how your immigration status may be affected by a plea deal, talk with an immigration attorney before taking action.
It may be possible to avoid deportation after a criminal conviction in Texas. At the law office of Mark E. Jacobs, P.C., our job will be to try to keep you in the country and united with your family through the immigration court system.
If you or someone you care about has been arrested and is at risk of deportation, contact the law office of Mark E. Jacobs, P.C. immediately. Call 972-445-7577 to schedule a consultation with a knowledgeable Dallas immigration law attorney.