Are Criminal Penalties Different for Immigrants?by Gamino Law Offices on 06/18/14
When you’re a United States citizen who commits a crime, you’re subject to the same criminal penalties as everyone else. However, if you’re not a citizen and you’re convicted, you can be deported – and in some cases, you may not be allowed to return. If you find yourself in this difficult position, it’s a good idea to talk to a Milwaukee immigration lawyer in our office to find out what your options are. (Additionally, if you’re an immigrant who is being charged with a crime, call us right away; we handle both criminal cases and immigration cases, so we may be able to help.)
What Can Stop a Deportation after a Conviction?
American citizens cannot be deported, so if you immigrated here and earned your citizenship, you’re not going to be forced to leave. You can be charged with a crime and face the same penalties that everyone else in Wisconsin faces if convicted.
If you have had a green card for five years or more, and if you have maintained good moral character for the past five years, you may qualify to apply for naturalization.
An immigration judge can cancel your removal from the country if you have had a green card for at least five years, you’ve lived here for seven continuous years, and you have not been convicted of an aggravated felony.
When Things Go Wrong
Immigrants often inadvertently put themselves at risk when they’re applying for citizenship or trying to adjust their status within the U.S. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to talk to an attorney who understands immigration and deportation law before trying to change your status. If you’ve already applied, it’s not too late – call a Milwaukee immigration lawyer as soon as possible to see what your options are.