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A criminal conviction can put your immigration status in jeopardy

Many individuals tend to forget that being admitted to a foreign country is a privilege, not a right. This misconception leads many to engage in to engage in negligent or criminal behavior thinking there will be no consequence for them doing so. The truth is there are penalties though. Deportation is one of them.

Presenting falsified documents to obtain a visa or failing to register with the United States Department of Homeland Security is just one offense that gets you deported.

If you are admitted to the United States as a tourist or student and take up a job or overstay your visa, then you may be fined, be deported and be prohibited from reentering the country for a period of time in the future too.

Individuals who are convicted of having committed an aggravated felonies or crime of moral turpitude may have to pay fines, serve time in jail and may be deported after they've completed their sentence. Generally, they must have been ordered to serve a year or more in prison for them to be considered deportable.

The list of crimes that can get an immigrant deported include such crimes as rape, fraud, animal fighting, murder, child abuse, robbery, involuntary manslaughter and kidnapping. If you happen to be deported for such an offense, then you'll be required to wait 20 consecutive years before you can reapply to reenter the United States once again.

If an individual is convicted on weapons charges, for drug possession, domestic violence or for their participation in a police chase, then they too may also be deported. Convictions for crimes such as driving with a suspended license, underage drinking and traffic infractions generally don't qualify for deportation unless some other extenuating circumstance exists.

As if defending yourself against criminal charges wasn't already enough of an uphill battle to fight, doing so when you're as an immigrant in the United States is even more complex to do.

How your case is handled can mean the difference between whether you're allowed to stay are allowed to remain free or are locked up in jail and whether you're able to stay in the United States in the future. With such high stakes, you'll want to have a Norcross criminal defense attorney on hand to let you know what your rights are and what strategy may give you the best chance of staying in this country.

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