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Vital Legal Tools for Non-U.S. Citizens Facing Criminal Charges

Non-US citizens face enormous emotional and legal challenges when dealing with criminal charges. Because criminal charges have immigration consequences, their lives and futures can drastically alter—especially considering that one potential outcome could be deportation. The way these two areas of law delicately and intricately intertwine with each other have solidified the need for crimmigration attorneys to protect people in these situations. These are situations where the perspective of both an immigration attorney and a criminal defense attorney are vital.  

We want to provide you with some insight into what your rights are and who to contact if you are a non-US citizen who has been charged with a crime. By reading this, we hope to help you take action and resolve your situation in the best possible way rather than making the situation worse.  

Understanding Crimmigration: The Intersection of Criminal and Immigration Law

Crimmigration attorneys help people when criminal law and immigration law are both at issue. There are more factors to consider beyond fines or jail time. If I accept a plea or plead guilty, will it impact your immigration journey? Is a probation sentence actually a “good” result for your situation? The rules in both areas, criminal and immigration, are tricky. So, these attorneys ensure people understand the rules and are treated fairly. They help ensure that a small mistake doesn't mean someone must leave the country.

In many cases, people might not even realize how a minor legal problem (such as a ticket or misdemeanor) can affect their immigration status. Imagine someone getting a ticket and thinking it's a simple matter to clear up. But, if they are not a citizen, that ticket might lead to more significant problems with their immigration status or ability to stay in the U.S.. That's where crimmigration attorneys come in. They know the ins and outs of both criminal and immigration rules. They guide people through these situations, ensuring they know their rights and options. With their help, people can make informed choices and avoid unexpected issues with their immigration status.

What Rights Do I Have As a Non-US Citizen?

However complex crimmigration might seem, non-US citizens have rights when charged with a crime. 

  • Right to remain silent
  • Right to an attorney 
  • Protection against unlawful searches 
  • Protection against double jeopardy
  • Protection against self-incrimination
  • Right to due process
  • Right to be informed of charges 
  • Protection against cruel and unusual punishment 
  • Right to contact their consulate
  • Right to bail (in some circumstances)

Common Defenses for Non-US Citizens Facing Deportation

Non-US citizens can protect their immigration status by remaining silent and speaking to a crimmigration attorney. Their attorneys may employ several common legal defenses. Here are some examples:

  • Lack of Jurisdiction: Your attorney may argue that the criminal charges must be dismissed because the arrest was made based on an error. This could prevent someone from being convicted of a charge and avoid the deportation process.
  • Application for Relief from Removal: An attorney who understands the complexities of both Immigration and Criminal Defense can craft a strategy that allows you to remain eligible for applications for status and to defend against deportation proceedings if they are unavoidable.  
  • Violation of Due Process Rights: An attorney may highlight your rights that have been violated. As seen above, you have the same rights as a US citizen under the constitution in criminal proceedings. Never forget this.
  • Ineffective Assistance of Counsel: If the lawyer didn’t do their job to the standard required, like giving you incorrect advice, this could be a reason to reopen a criminal case or reopen deportation proceedings.

Protecting Your Rights as a Non-US Citizen

Criminal charges have wider reaching and more dire consequences for non-U.S. Citizens. It's crucial to get a crimmigration lawyer as soon as you believe you will be charged with a crime.  

Here are some critical things to remember:

  • Get a crimmigration lawyer quickly so they can advise you how to proceed without putting your immigration status at risk. 
  • Be careful about signing papers or talking to immigration officers without your lawyer.
  • Be willing to gather supporting evidence for your attorney. This could apply to letters that speak to your character, records from your job, or medical records.
  • When you are with your lawyer, be prepared to openly discuss your past and your current immigration status. 
  • Always be honest and polite with immigration officers.

Entrust Your Crimmigration Concerns to STERN Law, LLC

Understanding the intersection of criminal and immigration laws is a complex task. That's where STERN Law, LLC comes in. Our team is highly experienced in crimmigration and is dedicated to protecting the rights of non-US citizens who face criminal charges. We look at every case closely and make a plan just for you. Are you a non-US citizen with criminal charges? Don't wait. Reach out to STERN Law, LLC now. Schedule a consultation with us today to discuss your crimmigration concerns.

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The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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