When Does an Arrest Affect Immigration Status – PA

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

Please contact the Harrisburg, PA, law firm of Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLP to schedule a free case evaluation with Roger Laguna or Laura Reyes Maloney: 717-233-5292. You may also contact us online.

Deportable Offenses

Under U.S. immigration laws, if you have temporary or permanent residency status, you can still face deportation proceedings if you are convicted of certain crimes. In some cases, when the criminal prosecution begins, the judge may also initiate deportation proceedings, and seek to have you permanently removed from the country. You have the right to fight these proceedings, but you want an experienced lawyer to protect your rights. This blog identifies the types of offenses that may lead to deportation proceedings, as well as some basic steps you should take to protect your rights.

Types of Crimes that May Lead to Deportation or Removal Proceedings

As a general rule, most minor misdemeanors or infractions will not be the basis for a deportation proceeding. Traffic violations, including drunk driving, generally do not rise to the level of offense leading to removal efforts. However, the following crimes can make you a party to a deportation proceeding:

    Drug offenses, such as possession, sale or trafficking, and manufacturing or cultivation
    • Firearms crimes, including illegal possession or sale of a weapon
    • Domestic violence
    • Sex crimes, such as rape, molestation, prostitution or solicitation, or child pornography offenses
    • Violent crimes, including assault and homicide
    • Kidnapping

Taking Steps to Protect Your Rights

When you have been charged with a criminal offense as a green card holder, your first step should be to contact an experienced attorney. You will be entitled to a phone call when taken into custody. Use that call to contact your lawyer and request that they come to the police station.

Once you have been taken into custody, you have certain constitutional rights. The police must notify you of your Miranda rights, which include the right to remain silent, and the right to have an attorney present. It is important that you exercise your right not to talk with police. Even though the American criminal justice system is based on the belief that you are innocent until proven guilty, the police will exert more energy to establish your guilt than to prove your innocence.

If you are merely under investigation and the police show up at your home, you do not have to allow them in, unless they have a valid search warrant. Don’t let them come in if they don’t have one. Anything that they see that they can reasonably argue gave them a suspicion of criminal activity will be the basis for an immediate search, and a warrant won’t be necessary.

Contact Our Office

At Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLP, we provide a free initial consultation to every client. To arrange a private meeting with an experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense attorney, contact us online.

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