Due to each state having its own unique laws, the laws that handle drugs and drug charges or convictions will also differ from state to state.
Thus, it is important for immigrants to know that there is no “blanket law” for drug crimes, and familiarize themselves with the individual laws of the states.
Misdemeanor and felony offenses
Norml discusses the potential trouble an immigrant can get into after facing drug charges. For violating drug laws, the possibility of deportation always looms. However, this threat will largely depend on if the drug crime in question was a felony or a misdemeanor. For low-level misdemeanor offenses, it is unusual for a person to end up deported, even if they face conviction.
However, accusations of federal drug trafficking or other serious crimes will almost always lead to the risk of deportation. If police also find guns and/or money in the vehicle when searching for a drug-related crime, this could lead to deportation as well.
The same goes for getting into a crash while under the influence. If someone passes away due to such a crash, it could lead to deportation. However, felonies do not always lead to deportation, and sometimes misdemeanors do. It is thus important to understand every case on an individual level.
The use of legal aid
This is where legal aid can come in handy. Not only can they help the criminally charged understand exactly what crimes they face, as well as potential penalties. It also allows for familiarization with the local and state laws, which will determine how any drug crimes get handled and seen by law.