Friday, February 24, 2017

CAN I BE DEPORTED FOR A CRIMINAL OFFENSE?

The answer may depend on the type of offense, how long you have been in the country and whether your crime is considered one of moral turpitude.

Under current immigration law, you can be deported if you are convicted for cetain listed offenses or for a crime involving moral turpitude for which a sentence of more than one year could have been imposed. If you are here on a visa, you must have committed the crime within five years of entry. If you are a permanent resident, the crime must fall within ten years of entry. See Immigration and Nationality Act.

While the following list is not exhaustive, you may be deported for aggravated felony, high speed flight from an immigration checkpoint, failing to register as a sex offender, drug offenses, domestic violence, certain firearms offenses, terrorist activities and human trafficking or two or more crimes involving moral turpitude.

To determine whether your crime involves moral turpitude, the court may examine the elements of your state law offense. However, the court may instead look at the underlying facts of your case. For that reason, you must be careful before taking a plea agreement to insure that you are not inadvertently pleading to a crime of moral turpitude.

Furthermore, a sentence of supervision may be considered a conviction for purposes of deportation. Thus, it is important to consult an immigration attorney before you enter a guilty plea.

Bear in mind that this is a highly volatile area of the law which is subject to change. Therefore, it is essential to speak with a qualified attorney if you have any questions regarding your immigration status.

If you are charged with a crime, contact an experienced criminal law attorney immediately. An attorney can review your options to determine your best possible defense. For most criminal offenses, the state must prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. An attorney can look for weaknesses in the state’s case. If the police stopped or searched you illegally, an attorney may bring a motion to have the evidence against you suppressed. Even if the police acted lawfully and the evidence againt you is overwhelming, an attorney who is respected in the courthouse may be able to negotiate a more favorable plea agreement than you could on your own.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email matt@mattkeenanlaw.com.

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)

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