Being accused or convicted of a crime can negatively impact the immigration status of a non-citizen in the United States. As a result, non-citizens facing criminal charges should be familiar with immigration laws and how interaction with the criminal justice system can impact their immigration status.

Because of a criminal offense, the non-citizen’s status could be downgraded or they could be deported entirely. This could occur because of a felony or non-felony criminal offense. The consequences can depend on the non-citizen’s status, the nature of the criminal offense they are accused of and the specific facts of the situation. In addition, if the crime the non-citizen is charged with is an aggravated felony or a crime involving moral turpitude, the non-citizen may be ineligible for any relief from deportation and may be barred from entering the United States in the future.

The exact consequences depend on the status of the non-citizen and the nature of the criminal charges they are facing but crimes of moral turpitude that may occasion the most serious consequences can include perjury, wire fraud, carrying a concealed weapon, child abuse and tax evasion. Aggravated felonies include simple battery, theft, failure to appear in court, some sex crimes and filing a fraudulent tax return.

Immigration law is an important area of the law that can offer protections to non-citizens facing criminal charges and worried about their immigration status. Because of what an important resource immigration protections are, non-citizens facing criminal charges and their families should be familiar with how immigration laws may be able to help them.