Can a criminal record affect your ability to stay in the United States if you are not an American citizen, or a permanent resident with a Green Card, or a DACA recipient, or here on a student, work, or other type of visa, or if you are undocumented? The answer really depends on the type of arrest, or allegations, or crimes made against you, whether or not the crime is serious, or violent, or considered a crime of moral turpitude.

Innocent people are often accused of things they did not do. And sometimes people do bad things but we don’t know the whole story and if there’s a defense for that. The facts in the police report, whether you are found guilty of the charges, or whether or not the charges get dismissed are all considered when determining your immigration consequences.

What happens if you are found guilty? The punishment for your crime will also be considered when authorities determine if you can stay in the United States. Some factors include whether you are sentenced to prison or if you’re sentenced to jail, and whether the time you serve is under one year. Very often, when a person is being investigated for a crime, assuming that there are facts to support that crime, a fact, uh… a complaint is filed by the district attorney’s office. People then hire a defense attorney to either get the charges dismissed or negotiate a settlement for conviction of a less harsh crime that doesn’t trigger jail time that affects your immigration consequences.

What are some of the benefits of hiring a criminal defense attorney? Number one, having a trusted professional hold your hand through the process so you’re not going into court blindly and have a strategy before your first court date or your next court date to protect yourself from going to jail or prison. Number two, if you have an immigration attorney, your criminal defense attorney can work with them to strategize a deal to propose to the courts and to the district attorney’s office that allows for you to stay in the country. Number three, and most importantly, peace of mind in knowing that somebody who has done cases like yours before and has been successful in getting the job done is handling it on your behalf.

Now, the fact that you’re even watching this video is an indicator that you are doing the right thing, because it means that you’re doing research about how to protect yourself or your loved one. On the other hand, a Google or YouTube search does not replace a law degree or years of experience. So please contact our office to see how we can help. Thanks for listening.