A very frightening collateral consequence of being convicted of a crime if you are not an American citizen is deportation. It doesn’t matter if you came over to America with your parents when you were a young child and now are 55 years old with a family including four children under the age of 18: if you never became a naturalized United States citizen and decades later are convicted of a crime contained within the category of offenses known as “Aggravated felonies,” there is a great likelihood you are being deported with no chance of readmittance into America in the future. And these “Aggravated felonies” – which does not even have to be a felony – include the great majority of crimes charged in New York state and federal indictments in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and all over the country. A partial list includes: murder, sexual abuse/rape, narcotics offenses, racketeering, firearms offenses, money laundering, fraud if the loss to the victim is more than $10,000, theft or tax evasion, perjury, child pornography and commercial bribery. While this seemingly limits plea bargaining for a non-citizen charged in such a case, you can hire a top criminal attorney in New York who has helped clients charged with aggravated felonies to nevertheless avoid deportation.
Other Consequences of Being Convicted of An Aggravated Felony
Beyond the almost certain deportation if convicted of an Aggravated felony, other collateral consequences to the defendant exist. Some of these include: deportation without a removal hearing (green card holders are deported without a hearing before an Immigration Judge); ineligibility for asylum even if the non-U.S. citizen will be persecuted if returned to his native country; mandatory detention of the defendant convicted of an Aggravated felony upon release from criminal custody until deportation is completed; permanent inadmissibility into the United States following deportation (unless the defendant receives a special waiver from the Department of Homeland Security); ineligibility for voluntary departure from the United States at the defendant’s own expense and method of deportation; enhanced penalties if the defendant illegally reenters the United States (up to 20 years in prison).
As is clear, while deportation is the worst consequence to a non-citizen being convicted of an Aggravated felony, other collateral consequences are also very troubling – which is why it is crucial to do all that you can to avoid this horrible legal scenario.
Some Hope To Avoid Deportation
In one recent case, a client of ours, a native of Pakistan who had spent the majority of his life in America, was accused of stealing over $1.3 million of Quicken and TurboTax discs from Intuit, Inc. and selling them on eBay. Charged in federal court with mail fraud, conspiracy to commit mail fraud and tax fraud, our client was facing certain deportation if convicted of any of these charges. Exacerbating our client’s horrible circumstances was the fact that he and his wife had four young, American-born children, ages four months to six years old. If deported, our client’s family would have been ripped apart forever, forced to either follow him back to Pakistan and a dangerous future there or have the family lose their husband and father forever. After a very lengthy negotiation which required significant research into the immigration laws, our client pleaded guilty to a charge which would not trigger deportation proceedings, thus ensuring his young family would remain intact.
While spending time in prison is surely awful, spending it knowing that your family will be broken up forever is exponentially worse.
Contact a Top New York Criminal Attorney For Your Case To Avoid Deportation Due to Your Criminal Case Today
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman have decades of experience in dealing with criminal cases with potential consequences of deportation in the federal and state courts in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Westchester, Long Island and all over the country. Call us at (212) 581-1001 and we will fight to win your case as well.