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I Was Charged with a Crime. I am Not a United States Citizen – What Can I Do?

The United States of America is often called the “land of opportunity.” For centuries, people from around the world have come to this country with the hope of becoming citizens and enjoying greater opportunities for themselves and their families. But before becoming citizens, many individuals live in this country either under the designation of “resident alien” or without any legal classification. In either of these cases, the individual could face deportation to his or her original country if he or she is convicted of certain offenses.

If you are not a citizen of the United States and you find yourself facing a criminal charge, it is important that you work with an lawyer who has specific experience defending individuals who are not United States citizens to reduce your chance of facing deportation.

Deportation as a Penalty for a Criminal Conviction

Generally, an individual can face deportation as a penalty for a criminal conviction if the conviction is for a violent crime. Examples of offenses that can result in the defendant’s deportation include:

  • Murder;
  • Rape;
  • Domestic violence;
  • Assault and battery; and
  • Convictions involving weapons.

However, a conviction of a different offense that endanger others’ lives can also result in a deportation. These offenses include DUI and drug convictions. In fact, there are circumstances in which a defendant can face deportation even if his or her charge is not for a violent crime. Certain financial offenses, such as money laundering and theft, can result in a guilty individual’s deportation from the United States. Basically, if an individual is found guilty of an offense that puts American residents at risk, the court may determine that it is not in these residents’ best interest for him or her to remain in the United States and send him or her back to his or her country of origin.

Reentering the United States After Deportation

Depending on the circumstances of the individual’s conviction, he or she might be barred from reentering the United States for a specific period of time. This period of time can be as short as five years or as long as the remainder of the individual’s life. Generally, an individual convicted of an aggravated felony, such as the sexual abuse of a minor, murder, or drug trafficking charge, he or she may be deemed to be inadmissible to the United States and barred from ever reentering the country.

Work with an Experienced Miami Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are a non-citizen and you are convicted of a crime, you can face deportation. This can have significant long-term consequences for you and your family. But do not assume that you will be convicted – you can avoid deportation and other penalties by working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Contact our team of Miami criminal defense lawyers at Ratzan & Faccidomo, LLC today to schedule your initial legal consultation with a member of our team.

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