Criminal convictions can have devastating consequences for foreign citizens residing in the United States, legally or illegally. Any person who is not a United States citizen, including lawful permanent residents, can be deported because of a criminal conviction.
The United States Department has prioritized deportation of individuals with certain criminal convictions. Those convicted of an aggravated felony, crimes of violence, crimes of moral turpitude, and crimes involving controlled substances are targeted for deportation. The fervor of the immigration officials in their desire to weed out dangerous individuals has increased since September, 11 2001, but in practice results in a lot of regular, hard-working people fighting to remain in this country.
Attorneys Lawrence Meltzer and Steven Bell know what you are facing and they have successfully protected their clients from making decisions that could negatively impact their immigration status or result in removal.
Do not hesitate to call for your first consultation. If you are not a United States citizen, you should seek legal advice immediately after an arrest. We represent clients in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties in Southeast Florida, which are incredibly diverse communities. Call us today at (561) 283-3259 to set up your free consultation.
If your conviction is an aggravated felony or a crime of violence, you may be facing deportation. A successful defense and finding of not guilty is the ideal outcome. Other satisfactory outcomes may include a reduction to a lesser crime that is not considered an aggravated felony or crime of violence and therefore does not put you at risk of deportation.
Some examples of aggravated felonies as they apply to immigration law include:
It should be noted that any aggravated felony conviction or crime of violence will result in inadmissibility to the United States in the future. That means the offender will not be granted residency, a work visa, or citizenship. They may be refused reentry altogether.
Moral turpitude is a loosely defined term that applies to crimes (felonies and misdemeanors) in which the defendant committed a base or vile act. The classification is second in importance behind aggravated felonies in the eyes of immigration agents. However, crimes classified as involving moral turpitude should be avoided at all cost. The crimes that have been ruled to incorporate moral turpitude include:
The categories of crimes of violence and crimes involving moral turpitude overlap, so one may be convicted of a sexual battery that is an aggravated felony and implies moral turpitude.
The Immigration and Nationality Act lists more offenses that will initiate deportation or prevent a non-citizen from being granted legal work status in the United States. Any crime related to controlled substances or drugs, crimes of domestic violence, protective order violations, and firearms crimes are all noted as grounds for deportation.
The law is constantly changing. The best advice you can get is from a Florida defense attorney dedicated to your case and your background. Immigration law is unique in that your Florida court case can weigh heavily on your United States residency status. Even minor misdemeanor charges can have an immense impact on your life when you are not a legal citizen.
Call (561) 283-3259 today to set up your free phone consultation with one of our skilled attorneys. Meltzer & Bell, P.A. has years of experience in Southeast Florida and the cities of West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Greenacres, Royal Palm Beach, Jupiter, Juno Beach, Wellington, Palm Beach Gardens and Belle Glade.
...A long weekend vacation in Palm Beach resulted in the potential for serious consequences that could have set me back in unimaginative ways. M+B was a truly incredible legal advocate and was always accessible within minutes to answer questions and discuss the progress of the case within the system - truly remarkable. I could not have retained better legal representation in my case in Palm Beach County.
I just had to commend you on the outstanding job you did on behalf of your client in court yesterday. If my clients were ever to ask me if I know of a good DUI defense attorney, I know to whom I can refer them!
I was facing hard prison time and punishment. [Larry] did everything to pull strings and get me into rehab. After meeting with many therapists I finally got one to diagnose me successfully with Bipolar. Thanks to Larry I have been sober since 6/19/09. My health is great and my family life is amazing. It's because he saw something in me and my family that I wasn't just an alcoholic there was something that told me it was something else.
I was charged with a felony and facing the scary thought of losing my job, but thank you Attorney Steven Bell for helping me. Now I’m able to keep my job and take care of my family. I am truly amazed by your service, and you for understanding what I have to deal with. To me I’m very impressed by way you handled my case and was here to listen and make things OK!
Mr. Steven Bell, Words cant explain how thankful I am for you and your firm. I was facing felony charges and even looking at doing 5 years in jail! Not only did you fight for me, you got my case dismissed and dropped. For that, I don't have words to say “thank you” you were always kind and believed in me. You looked for every opportunity and you won! Thank you for being my guardian angel in disguise and steering me in the right direction. You are forever my “too go guy” thank you soooo much!