No resident of Los Angeles really wants to be arrested or charged with a crime. Even a common misdemeanor offense, like drunk driving, can cause financial and other problems for years down the road.
For someone who is not a citizen of the United States, even if they have permanent residency, certain crimes can lead to deportation. This is why it is important for a California immigrant who has been charged with or convicted of a crime to seek the help of experienced immigration attorney.
Deportation is possible for certain felony offenses
Federal immigration law classifies certain crimes as aggravated felonies. Even if an immigrant avoids jail time, convictions for these crimes make deportation a real possibility.
While some of these offenses are indeed serious in the eyes of society, others are the sort of criminal charges that many different people from all walks of life could face.
For example, a single charge related to drug trafficking can lead to deportation. Likewise, many so called process crimes, like obstruction of justice, perjury and document fraud are deportable offenses.
Convictions related to drugs and firearms are deportable offenses
While an immigrant may have some defenses available to him, a single related to the illegal possession of drugs or a firearm can lead to deportation, the only exception being for smaller quantities of marijuana. This is so even if the underlying charge is a misdemeanor.
Deportation is possible after certain crimes of domestic violence
Likewise, certain crimes involving domestic violence, protective orders or the abuse or neglect of children can be grounds for deportation.
It is important in this respect to remember that if the police get called to a domestic disturbance, a person can easily be charged with a domestic violence offense.
Crimes of moral turpitude are a catch all
Finally, as a catch all, federal immigration law allows for deportation if an immigrant has two so-called crimes of moral turpitude on her record or one such offense within 5 years of entering the United States.