Facing criminal charges in Louisiana is difficult enough as it is, but add in concerns over immigration status and things can very quickly go downhill. Because of how U.S. immigration law treats criminal charges and convictions, you might even feel as if you are being punished twice. Here is what you need to know about dealing with a criminal conviction as an immigrant.
If you were recently convicted for a criminal charge, you could possibly be arrested by officials from Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. This arrest can lead to your detention, possible revocation of status and ultimate removal from the country. The stakes are extremely high in this situation, and what counts as a conviction can even be up to interpretation. If you were sentenced by a jury or a judge, entered a guilty plea, received a suspended sentence or more, then you were likely convicted. Even receiving deferred adjudication can count as a conviction in the eyes of ICE.
Not all criminal convictions lead to dealings with ICE, but convictions for Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude — CIMT — often do. While you might expect charges for things like murder or assault to fall under this category, petty theft does too. This means that a conviction for a seemingly minor crime can lead to your possible removal.
Your ability to remain safely in Louisiana should be your top priority. If you were convicted of a crime and are now worried about your future, you need the right help on your side. An experienced attorney who is familiar with U.S. immigration law can help better explain your situation and your options, but in the meantime more information is available here, on our website.