The rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution to people accused of criminal offenses—for example, the rights to remain silent, have a jury trial, and have legal representation—apply equally to everyone within U.S. territory, regardless of whether they are citizens or not. However, if you are not a U.S. citizen, being convicted of a criminal offense could still have uniquely severe consequences compared to what might happen to someone with citizenship.

When it comes to cases that fall at the intersection of criminal and immigration law, there is no substitute for guidance from a seasoned defense attorney with experience handling similar cases successfully in the past. Whether you are a Legal Permanent Resident, awaiting an answer to an immigration petition, or do not have any lawful status in the United States, a Mesa criminal defense lawyer for noncitizens could be a vital ally throughout any criminal proceedings you face.

Deportable Offenses Under Federal Law

For individuals without lawful status in the U.S., virtually any criminal offense can theoretically be a deportable offense if it leads to state or federal law enforcement authorities discovering the defendant’s lack of status. However, several categories of criminal offenses could make someone with LPR status deportable upon conviction, even if it is their first criminal conviction in the U.S.

According to immigration law, any non-citizen of the United States convicted of any of the following crimes may be subject to deportation:

  • Any aggravated felony as defined under 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43)
  • Certain firearm-related offenses
  • Most controlled substances offenses, other than a first-time offense for possession of fewer than 30 grams of marijuana solely for personal use
  • Any domestic violence crime
  • Any crime of moral turpitude
  • Any crime punishable by one year or more of imprisonment

Notably, deportation based on a criminal conviction will often lead to the government categorizing the defendant as inadmissible, meaning they would have a more difficult time getting permission from USCIS to reenter the U.S. lawfully in the future. For this reason, among many others, contacting a defense attorney should be a top priority for anyone without status facing any criminal allegation in Mesa.

Can Minor Criminal Convictions Affect Immigration Status?

If someone has lawful status in the U.S. but is not a citizen, a first-time conviction for an offense not considered deportable will generally not have any direct negative effect on their immigration status. Importantly, though, having any criminal record while living in the U.S. as a Legal Permanent Resident can substantially impact any plans to pursue naturalized citizenship.

One of the prerequisite conditions required by the government before granting naturalized U.S. citizenship is a demonstration of good moral character for several years before applying. As a criminal defense lawyer in Mesa could affirm, this means even a misdemeanor or traffic offense could inhibit a noncitizen’s ability to gain citizenship even long after their criminal case concludes.

A Mesa Criminal Defense Attorney for Noncitizens Could Help

Fighting criminal charges effectively and proactively is never simple under any circumstances. However, if you are a non-citizen living in the U.S. when you are accused of a crime, your path toward a favorable case result may be exponentially more challenging than it would be for a citizen in the same situation.

Guidance from a seasoned Mesa criminal defense without status lawyer can be invaluable to any immigrant facing criminal accusations in Arizona. Call today for a consultation about this intersection of criminal and immigration law and your case.

Client Testimonials

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Thanks to the entire Rocha team who made it possible to achieve the goal of acquiring residence in the United States, giving us more than a service, they gave us hope and confidence to move forward, despite the inconveniences caused by a pandemic, they managed to adapt to all the restrictions in a professional way and revealing his extensive work experience in the end, everything has been reflected in favorable results for us.
Jonatan, Maricela
March 30th, 2023
We hired Juan Rocha back in 2015 for my husband seeking help with his immigration process and I honestly think the process would have been faster if my previous lawyer wouldn't have made the mistakes that he did (fired him) and I hired Juan Rocha, It defiantly was a process but he got it done, thanks to him my husband was able to see his parents and family after 15 years a day that my husband and I will forever hold in our hearts. Juan has a very special way of expelling things and he makes sure before you leave...
Millie Ruano
March 30th, 2023
On behalf of my family, we give appreciation and thanks to Mr. Rocha for assisting my husband to be allowed to join our family again. We were totally blindsided by the situation and when Mr. Rocha worked his magic for us, figured we wouldn't see my husband again, it was nothing less than magic to us! I have never had to deal with an attorney before so I was nervous but felt more at ease right away especially since Mr. Rocha either answered his own phone right away or was available to speak with when I called. This just made...
Juan Pedro & Doreen
July 12th, 2021

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Rocha Law Firm
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