What Happens When a Non-Citizen Commits a Crime in the U.S.?

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Whether you are someone who already has your green card or you’re going through the process of becoming a United States citizen, if you are accused of committing a crime, you have a lot to consider. As a non-citizen, you must be on your best behavior at all times. The immigration process is a long and document-heavy one, and committing a crime can unravel it all. Please continue reading and reach out to our New York immigration lawyers to learn more about what happens when a non-citizen commits a crime in the U.S. and how it may impact their immigration status. Here are some of the questions you may have:

Will a non-citizen get deported if he or she commits a crime in the U.S.?

The answer to this question depends largely upon the crime itself. Certain offenses that are considered “petty crimes,” such as shoplifting, may not warrant a person’s deportation from the United States, however, it is still important to know that if you are an immigrant accused of a crime of any kind, you must take it very seriously. Your future in the United States can absolutely depend on it. Further, certain harsher crimes may absolutely warrant a person’s deportation from the United States, such as aggravated felonies or crimes of “moral turpitude.”

What are some examples of aggravated felonies?

Various crimes may be considered aggravated felonies or crimes of “moral turpitude,” including murder, rape, drug trafficking, or even a theft crime that warrants a jail sentence of at least one year. In some cases, committing an aggravated felony may even warrant the deportation of a person without a hearing or trial.

What if I already have a green card?

Even if you already have your green card, if you’re convicted of committing either one crime of moral turpitude within two years or two crimes of moral turpitude within five years, it can result in the revocation of your green card and deportation from the United States.

Can a lawyer help?

Yes. If you are accused of a crime either as a non-citizen or a lawful permanent resident with a green card, the most important thing you can do is hire a lawyer to defend you. The Lightman Law Firm has decades of combined experience guiding clients through the immigration process and defending them from deportation when necessary. If your future in the U.S. is in jeopardy, we are here to help. Give us a call today or contact us online so we can get started working on your case.