In a growing number of states, smoking or possessing marijuana has become legal. So it may seem odd that a legal permanent resident could actually lose their citizenship and be deported due to two marijuana possession convictions. But, sadly, it is true. And it's not just pot-related offenses that can spell trouble for a legal permanent resident. A drunk driving charge, while serious, is another offense that may not seem worthy of deportation. But deportation is exactly what can and has happened to many legal residents who have stumbled on the wrong side of the law. That is why it is important that if you're a legal permanent resident that you understand the types of legal issues that could jeopardize your citizenship and what you should do if you are arrested for a minor crime.
Deportation Is Possible Even if You've Lived in the U.S. for Most of Your Life
According to the Human Rights Watch, the United States can and has deported legal permanent residents who have lived almost their entire lives in the United States for relatively low-level crimes. Some of those citizens were being sent to a "native" country that they had left as babies and where they had no support system. And, sadly, many have had to leave family members in the United States, including children. In fact, as many as 20 percent of permanent legal residents who were deported were actually longtime citizens that had committed minor offenses.
What You Should Do
If you are arrested for a minor crime that you fear could put you at risk for deportation, it is important that you seek legal counsel with an immigration defense lawyer, such as those at Hanover Law, P.C.. Unfortunately, many non-immigration attorneys are not familiar with the major effects that a conviction for a seemingly low-level infraction can have on a legal permanent resident. Some lawyers -- not knowing any better -- have even advised their legal resident clients to accept guilty pleas for minor drug infractions, such as possession of a marijuana cigarette, rather than waste money on fighting the charge. The end result, however, could be deportation.
An immigration defense lawyer, on the other hand, will be able to tell you the effect of a particular crime on your residency status and then advise you on ways to possibly fight a conviction or to reduce the charge so that it won't cause problems with your citizenship status.
It is important to always remember that even though you may have lived in the United States for many years, possibly even your whole life, your residency status could be revoked. So do not make the mistake of pleading guilty to a crime until you are sure it will not affect your residency.Share
2 May 2016
People with an eye for property can make a great deal of money buying a house, fixing it up and then selling it for a profit. However, there are many legal issues involved in this kind of pursuit. I am an attorney with experience in real estate, and I have helped many clients learn the legal details involved in flipping property. This blog will help you understand what you need to know when you are buying and selling a home as well as information about paying taxes on money made and property owned. Flipping houses can be a very profitable activity as long as you know how to do it legally.