Any arrest or conviction in Pennsylvania and throughout the U.S. is entered into a National Crime Information Center (NCIC). The NCIC database includes criminal record information on both U.S. citizens and non-U.S. citizens or immigrants.
If you were arrested and fingerprinted and photographed by a law enforcement official in Pennsylvania, the record of that arrest will appear in the NCIC – even if the case was dismissed. If you are an immigrant who was arrested, your name will also appear in the database. Any immigration official who searches your name in that database will find it.
Failure to Report Arrest Can Result in Criminal Charges for Non-U.S. Citizens
The U.S. requires all immigrants who have been arrested to report that information to immigration officers, including Homeland Security officers or employees of the Department of State when asked. Failure to report an arrest, even if there was no conviction or a mistake was made, can result in an immigrant being charged with
the crime of “fraud to gain an immigration benefit.”
Whether an immigrant enters a plea that results in a case dismissal or the immigrant is actually convicted of a crime, that person’s ability to immigrate to the U.S. can be seriously affected. In the U.S. even a minor misdemeanor that carries no jail time can set a deportation action or a permanent exclusion action in motion for a non-U.S. citizen.
Retain Defense Attorney to Protect Your Rights and Your Immigration Status
This is the case even if the U.S. resident immigrant owns a business, has been living in the U.S. for decades, and has a family here. Thus, it becomes critical that anyone who is a non-U.S. citizen who has been arrested to be represented by an attorney who can provide defense against the criminal charges as well as proactively defend against harsh immigration consequences such as deportation.
In particular, crimes of “moral turpitude” and felonies are considered deportable crimes. Additionally, if you have been charged with more than one crime or if you have a past criminal record, there is a high likelihood of deportation proceedings against you.
A criminal defense attorney experienced in defending immigrants can effectively manage the complexities of defending you in your criminal defense case while proactively working to minimize any impact on your immigration status.
When Immigration and Criminal Defense Counsel Is Needed – Harrisburg, PA, Attorney