Consequences of a Domestic Violence Charge as an Immigrant

Being an immigrant in America can make criminal charges that much more intimidating. Certain convictions could lead to your forced deportation out of the country, even as a lawful permanent resident. One of these convictions is domestic violence, a crime listed as one of the federal statutory grounds of deportability. Find out what a domestic violence conviction could mean for you as a green card holder or temporary visa holder, as well as what to do if you are facing charges.

Consequences for a Permanent Resident

According to the United States Code section 1227, you could fall under the class of deportable aliens for violating the law. Committing a criminal offense, including a general crime of moral turpitude, could lead to deportation in certain circumstances. For example, having multiple criminal convictions, an aggravated felony conviction, a controlled substance conviction or a firearm offense conviction could make you eligible for deportation as a permanent immigrant. Section E of the law specifically addresses the crime of domestic violence.

  • Any immigrant convicted of domestic violence, child abuse, child neglect, abandonment or stalking is deportable.
  • Domestic violence is any violent crime by a spouse, former spouse, or someone the victim has a child with, lives with, used to live with or fulfills the definition of a protected individual under family violence laws.
  • Violating a protection order (such as a restraining order) to engage in conduct that involves a credible threat of violence, harassment or bodily injury is also a deportable offense.

On top of the threat of deportation, you could also face jail time, fines and other penalties for a domestic violence conviction. These consequences can apply to any immigrant, not only immigrants with undocumented statuses. The repercussions of a domestic violence conviction can be serious and life-changing for you as an immigrant. Even as a permanent resident, you could lose your immigration status and have to return to your home country.

Can You Be Deported?

Minor crimes do not always lead to deportation for immigrants. Whether you are a documented permanent resident or an undocumented immigrant, however, a domestic violence conviction could lead to deportation as part of your punishment. You may have a long waiting period before you can reapply for your green card and move back to America.

Committing a crime of moral turpitude, for example, could be grounds for deportation. This is a type of crime that involves base, vile or depraved conduct on the part of the defendant, such as intent to harm the victim. Crimes of moral turpitude can lead to deportation if committed within 5 years of entering the country or within 10 years of receiving a visa for permanent residence. Being convicted of an aggravated felony could also be enough to lead to deportation or other immigration consequences. Discuss exceptions to the rule with an attorney.

Why Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney Is Important in Your Case

A charge is not a conviction. Facing charges means you still have a chance to escape conviction and deportation through a strong criminal defense. When immigration law meets criminal law, the outcome for the immigrant can be extremely complicated. As soon as you hear of a domestic violence charge against you, contact an attorney for a free defense consultation. An attorney can help you navigate difficult criminal charges as a permanent or nonpermanent immigrant in the U.S. A lawyer will stand up for your rights against other parties – including prosecutors and the federal government – that might not be on your side.

A criminal defense lawyer in Glendale with experience in immigration law is the type of attorney you need to hire after a domestic violence charge. Hiring the right attorney can make all the difference to your criminal case and future in America. Your lawyer can negotiate the specific facts and details of the charges against you and your alleged crime, finding any available way to keep you in the country and combat the charges. Legal assistance could help you protect your immigration status despite a domestic violence charge.