For Undocumented Immigrants Minor Criminal Convictions Come with Serious Additional Consequences

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida. For some individuals facing minor criminal charges, a guilty plea is sometimes the best choice. For instance, with a drunken driving charge, prosecutors will sometimes accept a guilty plea for lesser charges, which can result in less jail time or reduced sentences. For instance, pleading guilty to reckless driving instead of fighting a drunk driving charge, sometimes brings with it no jail time while also protecting an individual’s right to drive. But, for some individuals facing criminal charges, taking a guilty plea can result in serious collateral consequences—for some, a criminal charge means deportation.

However, some charges can result in a deportation risk while other charges may not. For example, pleading guilty for reckless driving may not endanger some individuals with protected status, while pleading guilty to drunk driving could put their status at risk.

According to the New York Times, some individuals who had been previously protected by a federal program that offers amnesty against deportation, have been facing deportation for pleading guilty to minor charges. For some individuals, deportation is a life sentence that would separate them from families and friends. This harsh penalty has some prosecutors wondering if justice is really being served in these cases.

In some districts, prosecutors are considering individuals’ immigration status when pursuing charges. Some cities and districts are looking for ways to protect immigrants from the collateral consequences that a drunk driving or other minor charge could cause. While prosecutors are not technically permitted to consider collateral consequences when pursuing a conviction, in some districts, resistance to this administration’s approach to immigration has changed the ways in which some prosecutors prosecute cases.

Having a criminal record can have serious consequences for individuals seeking a green card, U.S. citizenship, or seeking permanent residency. Those who do not have status can lose a possible path to gaining status, and those with status can lose it. In some districts, prosecutors have also made it a point to inform criminal defense lawyers about the potential immigration repercussions of certain charges. In Brooklyn, prosecutors have put in place policies to prevent the deportation of residents for nonviolent or minor crimes. According to the New York Times, prosecutors in Brooklyn have been asked to seek convictions that will punish crimes while not leading to an immigrant’s deportation, when possible.

Not all districts have been so considerate to the rights of immigrants. If you are facing criminal charges you may want to speak to a criminal defense attorney like John L. Corn in Dallas who can help you understand the full range of consequences your conviction may carry. Even for individuals who are not immigrants, conviction can result in serious consequences, such as the loss of the right to travel abroad and the loss of certain federal and local aid programs. For immigrants, some minor charges run the risk of resulting in a life sentence of deportation. For those with families in the U.S. or those who have lived here their whole lives, this is the same as permanent exile. Criminal charges can have a serious impact on your life. Visit our website to learn more.

By | 11:41 am | Categories: Legal News | 0 Comments

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