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Criminal Defense for Immigrants

Men's hands in handcuffs hold the American flag in their hands. Concept: American prisoner, imaginary freedom, deportation from the country, persona non grata

Have you been charged with or convicted of a crime? 

If you are not a United States (U.S.) citizen and have been arrested and charged with a crime, it is critical that you contact an Immigration Attorney to understand the immigration consequences of a potential conviction.

Even minor misdemeanors can render non-citizens removable (deportable) from the U.S.  

Our office focuses on the areas of Immigration Law and Criminal Defense, and we are able to handle your criminal and immigration matters every step of the way.

If you have been arrested, please feel free to contact our office for assistance in proving your innocence, and determining whether a potential conviction could result in your deportation from the U.S.  

Please see below for examples of the kinds of crimes that can render non-citizens deported from the U.S.

One Crime Involving Moral Turpitude Within Five Years of Arrival

Any non-citizen who is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude committed within five years (or ten years in the case of an alien provided lawful permanent resident status under section 245(j) of this title) after the date of admission for which a sentence of a year or longer may be imposed is deportable. Section 237(a)(2)(A)(i). 

Two Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude

Any non-citizen who at any time after admission is convicted or two or more crimes involving moral turpitude, not arising out of a single scheme of criminal misconduct, regardless of whether confined therefor and regardless of whether the convictions were in a single trial, is deportable.

Aggravated Felons

Any alien who is convicted of an aggravated felony at any time after admission is deportable. The term “aggravated felony” is defined in section 101(a)(43) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. To determine whether a particular conviction is an aggravated felony,” the Court first applies the “categorical” approach looking only to the statutory definition of the offense. If the statutory definition of the offense of conviction is broader than the definition of the relevant removal offense, the Court applies a “modified” categorical approach in an attempt to determine the conduct for which the defendant was actually convicted. Under the modified categorical approach, the Court looks beyond the language of the statute to a narrow specified set of documents that are part of the record of conviction in order to determine the conduct for which the alien was convicted. See generally Shepard v. United States, 544 U.S. 13 (2005).

Alien Smugglers

Any non-citizen who (prior to the date of entry, at the time of any entry, or within 5 years of the date of any entry) knowingly has encouraged, induced, assisted, abetted, or aided any other alien to enter or to try to enter the United States in violation of law is deportable.

Controlled Substance Violators

Any non-citizen who at any time after admission has been convicted of a violation of (or a conspiracy or attempt to violate) any law or regulation of a State, the United States, or a foreign country relating to a controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802), other than a single offense involving possession for one’s own use of thirty grams or less of marijuana, is deportable. Section 237(a)(2)(B)(i) of the Act. 

Firearm Offenses

Any non-citizen who at any time after admission is convicted under any law of purchasing, selling, offering for sale, exchanging, using, owning possessing, or carrying, or of attempting or conspiring to purchase, sell, offer for sale, exchange, use, own, possess, or carry, any weapon, part, or accessory which is a firearm or destructive device (as defined in section 921(a) of title 18, United States Code) in violation of any law is deportable. Section 237(a)(2)(C) of the Act. Where the statute under which an alien was convicted encompasses offenses that constitute firearms violations and offenses that do not, the Court looks to the record of conviction and to other documents admissible as evidence in proving a criminal conviction to determine whether the specific offense of which the alien was convicted constitutes a firearms violation within the meaning of section 237(a)(2)(C) of the Act. Matter of Teixeira, 21 I&N Dec. 316 (1996); Matter of Madrigal, 21 I&N Dec. 323 (BIA 1996); Matter of Pichardo, 21 I&N Dec. 330 (BIA 1996).

 Domestic Violence

Any non-citizen who at any time after admission is convicted of a crime of domestic violence, a crime of stalking, or a crime of child abuse, child neglect, or child abandonment is deportable. For purposes of this clause, the term “crime of domestic violence” means any crime of violence (as defined in section 16 of title 18, United States Code) against a person committed by a current or former spouse of the person, by an individual with whom the person shares a child in common, by an individual who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the person as a spouse, by an individual similarly situated to a spouse of the person under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction where the offense occurs, or by any other individual against a person who protected from that individual’s acts under the domestic or family laws of the United States or any State, Indian tribal government, or unit of local government. In order for a crime to be considered a crime of domestic violence, the crime must first be classified as a crime of violence. 18 USC 16 defines a crime of violence as: 1) an offense that has as an element the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person or property of another, or 2) any other offense that is a felony and that, by its nature, involves a substantial risk that physical force against the person or property of another may be used in the course of committing the offense. This ground of deportability only applies to convictions occurring after September 30, 1996. IIRAIRA 350(b).

Violators of Protection Orders

Any non-citizen who at any time after entry is enjoined under a protection order issued by a court and whom the court determines has engaged in conduct that violates the portion of a protection order that involves protection against credible threats of violence, repeated harassment, or bodily injury to the person or persons for whom the protection order was issued.

For purposes of this clause, the term “protection order” means any injunction issued for the purpose of preventing violent or threatening acts of domestic violence, including temporary or final orders issued by civil or criminal courts (other than support or child custody orders or provisions) whether obtained by filing an independent action or as a pendente lite order in another proceeding.

False Claim to Citizenship

Any non-citizen who falsely represents, or has falsely represented, himself to be a citizen of the United States for any purpose or benefit under this Act (including section 274A) or any Federal or State law is deportable. Section 237(a)(3)(D) of the Act.

A false claim to United States citizenship that is timely retracted might not support a finding of inadmissibility under this ground. Matter of M-, 9 I&N Dec. 118 (BIA 1960) (finding timely retraction where an alien corrected false statements to an immigration officer voluntarily and prior to exposure of the misrepresentation); see also Matter of Namio, 14 I&N Dec. 412 (BIA 1973) (finding that an alien’s correction of a false statement made under oath to a border patrol officer, when 1 year had passed and disclosure of the falsity was imminent, was not a timely retraction).

For more information please feel free to contact our office.

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Your case is important to us. Whether it is a simple question or a serious inquiry, we are here for you. You can call us by phone or email us directly.


(248) 838-0784


5700 Crooks Road, Suite 200
Troy, Michigan 48098