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.

Drug Possession Penalties in Pennsylvania

Harrisburg, PA Drug Crimes Attorney

Pennsylvania has a two – tiered sentencing system in drug crime cases. In general, there is a minimum and maximum penalty associated with different kinds of drug crimes where the maximum penalty is at least twice as great as the minimum sentence. Sentencing in drug crime cases also depends on a number of relevant factors – your criminal record, the kind and amount of drugs involved, whether weapons and violence were used, and whether or not you’re on probation. While not all drug crimes have mandatory minimum sentences, failure to understand sentencing guidelines can result in a longer anticipated prison sentence in plea bargain arrangements.

Drug Possession Prison Sentences in Pennsylvania

While each case is different, if convicted for a first time drug crime in Pennsylvania, you face the following kinds of penalties:

Marijuana:

• 2 pounds to less than 10 pounds – 1 year in prison
• 10 pounds to less than 50 pounds – 3 years in prison
• 50 pounds or more – 5 years in prison

Cocaine:

• 2 grams to less than 10 grams – 1 year in prison
• 10 grams to less than 100 grams – 3 years in prison
• 100 grams or more – 4 years in prison

Heroin:

• 1 gram to less than 5 grams – 2 years in prison
• 5 grams to less than 50 grams – 3 years in prison
• 50 grams or more – 5 years in prison

Schedule I or II Narcotics:

• 2 grams to less than 10 grams – 2 years in prison
• 10 grams to less than 100 grams – 3 years in prison
• 100 grams or more – 5 years in prison

Methamphetamine:

• 5 grams to less than 10 grams – 3 years in prison
• 10 grams to less than 100 grams – 4 years in prison
• 100 grams or more – 5 years in prison

Amphetamine:

• 5 grams or more – 2 ½ years in prison

Methaqualone:

• 50 tablets to less than 200 – 1 year in prison
• 25 grams to less than 100 grams – 1 year in prison
• 200 tablets or more – 2 ½ years in prison
• 100 grams or more – 2 ½ years in prison

In almost every instance involving a second conviction, prison time is increased by 1 to 3 years, depending on the drug. Likewise, if a defendant was in possession of a firearm at the time of his arrest, he could face a five – year mandatory minimum, depending on the specifics of the case.

Marijuana Possession Penalties in Pennsylvania

Most marijuana possession charges are a result of a car stop associated with suspected drunk driving or a traffic offense. Consequently, the amount of marijuana found is often less than a pound. However, 30 grams or less of marijuana can result in a 30-day jail sentence and a $500 fine while more than 30 grams can carry a jail sentence of 1 year and a fine up to $5,000. Likewise, the possession or sale of drug paraphernalia – a bong or marijuana pipe – can result in a 1 year jail sentence and a fine of up to $2,500; in cases involving a minor, penalties double.

Contact Harrisburg Drug Offenses Attorneys at Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLP

If you’ve been arrested on drug charges – even if it’s a small amount of marijuana – contact Harrisburg drug possession lawyers at Laguna Reyes Maloney, LLP today. If convicted, you could face time in jail, an expensive fine, and a permanent criminal record. Call today to learn how we can help you.

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