Do I have options if I get convicted of a crime?

On Behalf of | Nov 11, 2022 | Immigration

Any non-citizen who gets accused of a crime in either state or federal court should take the matter seriously.

Many criminal convictions can lead to deportation.  While some deportable crimes also can land a person in prison for decades, others are surprisingly easy to get accused of, even if one is an otherwise upstanding member of their community.

For example, any drug-related conviction or any conviction related to domestic violence can lead to deportation.  Drug convictions can include convictions related only to the use of a controlled substance. One need-not be accused of selling or planning to distribute the drug.

After getting convicted, the first thing a person will want to check is whether the crime actually is deportable. In some cases, a single offense, even if it is a crime under state law, will not lead to deportation.

A person convicted of a deportable crime may be able to pursue a waiver

Even if a person has been convicted of a deportable crime, in some cases, the person may be able to get a waiver from the authorities that will allow them to stay in the United States.

For example, a non-citizen may be able to get what is called a section 212(h) waiver after a criminal conviction for certain types of crimes which many might see as less serious than so-called aggravated felonies.

They will also have to show that they are entitled to the waiver for an approved legal reason. They will have to show that they are entitled to the waiver for an approved legal reason.

Even if the person is able to show they are eligible for a waiver, it does not mean they will get one. The immigration judge still will make the decision whether or not to give the person another chance.

Someone facing deportation because of their criminal conviction may have legal options, but they will want to make sure they can put together a convincing case.