Florida has one of the most diverse populations in the country; there are people from all over the world that travel to and live here. For individuals that immigrated to the United States from a different country lawfully and either hold visas or have become permanent residents, staying here is of paramount concern.
The commitment and ultimate conviction of certain crimes may strip someone otherwise lawfully able to be in the United States their right to do so. If you are an immigrant that has been charged with a crime in Florida, you have rights to protect yourself from deportation.
Commission of Crimes on a Visa or With Similar Status
The commission of any crime committed by anyone can lead to serious consequences. These same actions by “non-Americans”, even a legitimate visa or green card holder, may lead to immigration and deportation consequences. This is especially true with crimes that are deemed to be indicative of moral turpitude.
“Crimes of moral turpitude,” or crimes that are believed by society to be particular offensive to moral principles, are particularly troublesome for non-residents. These types of crimes include domestic violence, violent crimes, drug/DUI offenses, fraud and sex crimes. The commission of these crimes has a substantial likelihood of jeopardizing even a permanent resident’s green card status and may lead to deportation.
With consequences this severe, it is important for immigrants to be especially careful when it comes to following the law. According to a recent Washington Post article regarding immigration and crime, immigrants, overall (including both illegal and legal), commit fewer crimes than native-born United States citizens. Many people erroneously believe that immigrants are more likely to violate the law, but in reality, they are, as a group, more compliant.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) keeps statistics regarding the number of deportations that are crime-related as well as the number of crimes that are committed by documented or undocumented foreign individuals. Regardless of your stance on immigration, the numbers make it clear that immigrants make up a relatively small portion of our population, our prison population, and overall crime statistics.
Even though immigrants as a class may be less likely to violate the law, a conviction will be especially damaging to an individual wishing to stay in the United States. ICE deported over 150,000 individuals in 2014 who were convicted criminals and thousands of illegal immigrants are currently being held in our state and federal jails. The process of deportation can be slow, but almost certain when certain crimes are at issue.
Orlando, Florida Immigration Defense Attorneys
If you are lawfully residing in the United States and have been charged with a crime, we understand that staying in America is your highest priority. Our experienced immigration defense lawyers at Moses & Rooth are former prosecutors that understand the intricacies of the justice system from both sides of the table.
Using this knowledge, we will work with law enforcement agencies to minimize the potential effects a conviction may have on your resident status and do everything to protect your legal rights. Do not let a criminal conviction ruin your chances of staying in America; contract our Orlando law office as soon as you are charged to minimize the impact of your mistakes on your future.