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Can a criminal conviction result in deportation for the non-citizen?

May 24th, 2009

The Obama Administration has demonstrated through its Home Land Security Secretary Janet Napolitano that it is in line with the Bush administration on some immigration issues, and has made deporting immigrants who have committed crimes a top priority. The Administration is in the process of instituting immigration status checks of virtually every person booked into local jails nationwide. This will undoubtably, ultimately, result in a dramatic increase in deportation proceedings. Historically, this checking was only done for persons committed to state prisons and Federal institutions.

There are many crimes referred to in the nomenclature as “aggravated felonies”, convictions for which will result in automatic deportation for the non-citizen. The list of such crimes includes many misdemeanors, although misdemeanors are generally meant to encompass less serious or dangerous crimes than those crimes traditionally designated as felonies.

Aggravated felonies include any crime of violence for which a jail term of at least one year is imposed, theft crimes for which a jail term of one year is imposed, drug sales, firearms offenses, violence crimes including domestic violence offenses, offenses resulting in a loss in excess of $10,000.00, most sex offenses, and a vast list other crimes.

There are many offenses conviction for which will still allow the non-citizen to apply for waivers to deportation, rather than face automatic deportation, but there are no exceptions to deportation for persons convicted of an aggravated felony. When faced with a criminal charge, no matter what the charge, the non-citizen is well advised to seek out the assistance of competent criminal defense counsel immediately.

If you or someone you know is facing this situation contact the San Jose Criminal Defense Lawyers of The Law Office of Bernard P. Bray.

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