If You are Arrested

If you have any problems with the police, or if you become involved with the criminal justice system in any way, you should contact us immediately before you go to trial, plead guilty or accept any sentencing arrangement. Your criminal lawyer should contact us as soon he or she becomes involved with your case. You will need a criminal lawyer and you should not handle any charges on your own.

As a permanent resident of the United States, you are generally subject to all of the laws which apply to United States citizens, including criminal laws. There may be severe penalties for what you may think are minor criminal offenses. Criminal convictions will often result in unavoidable deportation even if your entire family is here. This can be true even if you do not spend time in jail. Sometimes a person is not convicted under state law but is considered to be convicted under immigration law. Make sure that your criminal lawyer discusses these issues with us as soon as possible.

Although the arrest or conviction for a crime involving moral turpitude (for example, theft or spouse or child abuse) may not subject you to removal proceedings while you are in the United States, there may be great danger if you travel. Arrests for all drug offenses are especially dangerous.

Even if a particular crime does not directly cause immigration problems, these days many state and local police have the power to arrest someone for suspected immigration violations and turn that person over to immigration officers. This is true even for routine traffic offenses.