If you are pursuing citizenship in the United States, a criminal conviction can derail your plans and affect whatever type of immigration proceeding you are currently going through. The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) puts a very high priority on targeting individuals who do not have legal status and who have criminal records. These individuals are considered high risk and a threat to public safety. If you are charged with a crime, this could result in an “ICE hold status.” Your charges could alert government agencies and immigration officials.
It is important to work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can represent you effectively and aggressively. If you are attempting to obtain legal status, a criminal charge could pose a major hindrance. Individuals who do not have legal immigrant status and who have been convicted of crimes are at a higher target for being removed by ICE.
Types of Crimes
You could be at risk if you have been charged with a crime such as:
- Illegally voting
- Driving under the influence of drugs and / or alcohol (DUI / DWI)
- Assault or aggravated assault
- Drug crimes including possession, sale, cultivation, manufacture, possession of paraphernalia, and trafficking
- False identification / falsifying immigration documents
- Theft crimes including burglary, robbery, and shoplifting
- Driving without a driver’s license
- Assisting others in entering the United States illegally
Statuses that make you vulnerable to deportation and other immigration actions include:
- No status / no legal papers
- Temporary protected status (TPS)
- Lawful permanent resident status (LPR)
What NOT to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Crime
If you have been arrested and you are not a citizen, you need to be aware of the realities of your situation. Did you know that you could be held without bail in immigration jail? Did you know that you could be deported if you plead guilty, or extend a plea for deferred adjudication?
There are several things you should do, and several things you should not do, if you have been charged with criminal actions, including:
- Do NOT agree to any plea bargain deal
- Do NOT plead guilty to the charges against you unless you understand how doing us will affect your immigration status
- DO speak with an attorney immediately
Call the Law Office of A. Oliver Hassibi
If you have been arrested, call my office. I can help you. I am a criminal defense attorney in Fort Worth, Texas with years of experience and a reputation for dedicated advocacy. I have remained committed to fighting for my clients since beginning my career as a criminal justice attorney in 2002. I am passionate about what I do and about fighting for the rights of my clients.
I believe that you deserve a fighting chance. When immigration issues complicate the case, it is important to retain an attorney who cares and who is passionate about fighting for the results you need. My entire career is focused on criminal defense. You can rely on me for a “fight to win” attitude and a commitment to your case. For more information about the Law Office of A. Oliver Hassibi and my services, contact my office at (817) 953-2663 for a free case evaluation.