Immigrants, those with Green Cards or Visas, may face dire consequences if convicted of a felony or misdemeanor criminal offense. Without an experienced, retained criminal defense lawyer, the only plea you should agree to is “Not Guilty!”

Factors that Impact Possible Deportation

The odds of facing deportation depend on several factors, including the circumstances of the offense and the characteristics of the individual person. The status of the alien, age, length of time in the United States, manner of entry into the country, if the alien has a citizen spouse or children, and the nature of the conviction are among several factors that could impact potential immigration consequences, like deportation, the inability to re-enter the United States, or the ability to become a US citizen or permanent resident.

Crimes that are considered “Crimes of Moral Turpitude” (CMT) can be more likely to result in deportation or an inability to obtain citizenship or a green card. A person who faces deportation for a CMT, in limited circumstances, may be able to raise a defense to deportation and request a waiver to stay in the United States.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys

In most federal courts, a conviction for any offense listed as an “aggravated felony” is grounds for deportation. There are a multitude of “aggravated felony” offenses under immigration law.

A Green Card Holder May Still be Deported

Someone who has been granted permission to live in the United States permanently is called a permanent resident. Permanent residents are given “green cards,” which are photo IDs proving their lawful status. A green card holder may be deported if he or she is convicted of a drug or gun charge, domestic violence, stalking, child abuse or neglect, or a crime of violence (murder, rape, theft, or burglary). If the immigrant has been in the United States for less than 5 years, he or she may be deportable if convicted of a crime involving fraud, money laundering, bad check, or a similar offense if the potential sentence is one year or more, regardless of the actual sentence.

Any individual without a green card, e.g., not a permanent resident, faces deportation for a wider range of convictions. For example, someone who is not a permanent resident faces the possibility of deportation if he or she is convicted of a drug or gun offense, fraud, money laundering, bad check, other financial fraud type crime, domestic violence, stalking, child abuse or neglect, or a crime of violence like murder, rape, or burglary. These offenses are potentially deportable regardless of how long the individual has lived lawfully in the United States.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

The Defense of an Immigrant in Criminal Court

Representation of a defendant who is not a United States citizen takes special skill, knowledge, and dedication. If a person is deported, he or she may be unable to complete college, may be separated from family members who remain in the United States, may lose employment, may lose access to necessary medical care, or may face returning to a country that is unwelcoming or unfamiliar.

Because the stakes are so high, a defense attorney must be tenacious and committed to doing everything possible to prevent his or her client from being convicted of a deportable offense. In addition to considering immigration consequences, the lawyer must also fight for the client to avoid time in jail.

A crafty, tenacious, and experienced defense lawyer is an immigrant’s best hope of finding a resolution to a case that does not result in deportation or other immigration consequences. For example, if an alien is charged with a deportable offense, the defense attorney may be able to negotiate a plea bargain where the conviction is for a lesser offense that is less likely to trigger deportation or complications with a future application for citizenship or permanent residency status.

Delayed Sentences, Pleas Under Advisement, Youthful Offender Programs

General practice or inexperienced defense attorneys may not have a thorough understanding of the immigration consequences following a misdemeanor or felony conviction. The are many laws in Michigan that prevent a criminal conviction, even if a defendant is found to be guilty, put in jail, or sentenced to a term of probation. Although a case may be dismissed under these circumstances, a federal court will still consider the matter a criminal conviction for immigration purposes. A person charged with a crime, who is not a United States citizen, should never agree to be represented by an attorney that does not have extensive experience representing clients under similar circumstances.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys - Lewis & Dickstein PLLC

Experienced Attorneys Representing Immigrants and Other Non-US Citizens

The Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has decades of experience successfully representing clients who are not citizens of the United States. We have a thorough understanding of potential immigration consequences, and we routinely associate and collaborate with lawyers who are experts in immigration law. If you or a loved one is facing the possibility of a criminal conviction and deportation, it is essential that you hire the best lawyer possible. If you call LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. at (248) 263-6800, we will provide you with an informative, free consultation. When it seems like there is no hope, we will find a way to help!

List of Deportable Offenses Under Immigration Law

  • Accessory After the Fact (to a deportable crime)
  • Accomplice/Aiding & Abetting (a deportable crime)
  • Arson of a Dwelling House
  • Arson of Real Property
  • Arson of Personal Property
  • Arson of Insured Property
  • Arson – Preparation to Burn
  • Assaulting, Resisting or Obstructing Police Officers
  • Assault & Battery (simple)
  • Assault (aggravated)
  • Assault-Felonious (Assault with a Dangerous Weapon)
  • Assault with Intent to Rob and Steal While Being Armed
  • Assault with Intent to Rob and Steal Being Unarmed
  • Assault with Intent to Do Great Bodily Harm
  • Assault with Intent to Murder
  • Domestic Assault or Domestic Violence
  • Assault on Prison/Jail Employee
  • Assault with Intent to Maim
  • Assault with Intent to Commit a Felony
  • Attempt (to commit a deportable offense)
  • Breaking and Entering
  • Carjacking
  • Carrying a Concealed Weapon (CCW)
  • Carrying a Dangerous Weapon with Unlawful Intent
  • Child Abuse (1st degree)
  • Child Abuse (2nd degree)
  • Child Abuse (3rd degree)
  • Child Abuse (4th degree)
  • Child Support – Felony Non-Support
  • Conspiracy (Generally)
  • Controlled Substance Obtained by Fraud
  • Criminal Sexual Conduct (1st degree)
  • Criminal Sexual Conduct (2nd degree)
  • Criminal Sexual Conduct (3rd degree)
  • Criminal Sexual Conduct (4th degree)
  • Domestic Violence, 3rd offense
  • Drug House, Keeping
  • Embezzlement (all offenses)
  • Entering Without Breaking
  • Entering Without Permission
  • Escape from Jail
  • Escape from Prison
  • Escape from Jail/Prison with Violence
  • Ethnic Intimidation
  • Failing to Register, Sex Offender
  • False Report of a Felony
  • False Pretenses
  • Felon in Possession of a Firearm
  • Felonious driving
  • Financial Transaction Device (credit card), Illegal Use
  • Financial Transaction Device (credit card), Possessing Without Consent
  • Firearm Felony
  • Fleeing/Eluding, 3rd degree (Vehicle Code)
  • Fleeing/Eluding, 4th degree (Vehicle Code)
  • Fleeing/eluding, 3rd degree (Penal Code)
  • Forgery
  • Fraudulent Access (computer specific)
  • Fraud, retail (1st degree)
  • Fraud, welfare ( >$500, by failure to inform)
  • Gross indecency
  • Home invasion (1st degree)
  • Home invasion (2nd degree)
  • Home invasion (3rd degree)
  • Incitement to Riot
  • Indecent exposure
  • Installing device to eavesdrop
  • Internet stalking
  • Involuntary manslaughter
  • Kidnapping
  • Larceny by conversion
  • Larceny in a building
  • Larceny from a person
  • Larceny from motor vehicle
  • Malicious destruction of property
  • Malicious threats to extort money
  • Manslaughter with a Motor Vehicle
  • Manufacturing, possessing, transferring an eavesdropping device
  • Misconduct in office
  • Murder (1st degree)
  • Murder (2nd degree)
  • Negligent homicide
  • No Account Checks
  • Non-sufficient Fund Checks
  • Obstruction of Justice
  • OWI / OUIL / DUI
  • Parental Discipline
  • Perjury Committed in Courts
  • Perjury Committed on an Oath
  • Possession of controlled substance, cocaine/narcotic, <25g
  • PCS with intent to deliver, cocaine/narcotic, <50g
  • Possession of Burglar’s Tools
  • Possession of methamphetamines
  • Possession w/intent to deliver, marijuana <5 kilos
  • Receiving and Concealing Stolen Property
  • Robbery Armed
  • Robbery Unarmed
  • Stalking / Aggravated Stalking
  • Three Non-Sufficient Fund Checks Within 10 Days
  • Unauthorized Access of a Computer
  • Unlawful Assembly for the Purpose of a Riot
  • Unlawful driving away of an automobile (UDAA)
  • Unlawful Use of an Automobile
  • Using a Computer to Commit a Crime
  • Using the Internet to Commit a Crime Against a Minor
  • Using a Computer to Commit an Explosive Violation
  • Uttering and Publishing a Forged Check or Instrument
  • Voluntary Manslaughter
  • Welfare Fraud