Removal from the United States is a constant threat to non-citizens and immigrants. Minor criminal offenses that would hardly disrupt the lives of a citizen could prove to be the catalyst that causes the deportation of an otherwise law-abiding immigrant.
For many people, facing deportation seems like a foregone conclusion. The thought of facing down the federal government in court and winning is outside the scope of what is imaginable for some. However, every person facing the risk of deportation has legal rights. A dedicated immigration attorney could assist in the fight against deportation.
If you are facing deportation proceedings, all is not lost. The right attorney could help you push back against the attempt to deport you and potentially obtain your freedom prior to your final hearing. Speak with a Huntsville deportation defense lawyer to learn about your options for fighting back against the deportation process.
Criminal Offenses that Could Trigger Deportation
Upon conviction of certain crimes, the federal government could deport any immigrant within the United States. This is true not only of undocumented immigrants but for immigrants with green cards as well.
Not every criminal offense will result in potential deportation, however. Minor offenses, like traffic violations, will not generally result in deportations. However, two types of criminal offenses put immigrants at increased risk of facing deportation proceedings. These include crimes of moral turpitude and aggravated felonies.
The definition of a crime of moral turpitude is less than clear under federal law. Instead of a specific list of charges written into statute, the specific offenses that qualify are often determined by the courts. Federal law does specify a crime of moral turpitude involves fraud, larceny, and the intent to harm a person or property. Any type of federal fraud conviction or theft crime likely qualifies. The same is true for offenses involving domestic violence. A Huntsville attorney experienced in deportation defense is in the best position to advise whether or not an offense could result in deportation.
Aggravated felonies, on the other hand, are listed by statute. These felonies are located in the Immigration and Nationality Act. This list includes many of the most severely punished offenses under criminal law including murder, rape, sexual abuse of a minor, child pornography, or drug trafficking, to name a few.
The Deportation Process
The initiation of the deportation process – also known as removal proceedings – commences with an act from the Department of Homeland Security. In some cases, the subdivision known as Immigration and Customs Enforcement Division is also involved.
The first hearing in the process is known as the master calendar hearing. Failure to appear at this hearing and any future hearings will result in an immediate removal order. Every individual facing deportation has the right to bring a Huntsville defense attorney to this hearing.
Following this hearing, it is possible for a person facing deportation to either negotiate their voluntary departure from the country or even potentially seek a green card or other defense. If a person is intent on fighting removal, they can raise their defense at what is known as the merits hearing or individual hearing. This hearing is similar to a trial where the person facing deportation and their Huntsville deportation defense lawyer fights against lawyers from DHS. This hearing will ultimately determine if an immigrant will be deported or not.
Reach Out to a Huntsville Deportation Defense Attorney Today
You have legal rights during the deportation process. Even if the situation seems hopeless, it is important to understand that you have the right to defend yourself during removal proceedings.
You also have the right to seek legal counsel. Contact a Huntsville deportation defense lawyer for more information.