Whether you are applying for citizenship, are in the United States on a temporary visa, or have become a permanent resident through the immigration system, a domestic violence arrest could jeopardize your efforts to enter (and remain in) the U.S.
However, an arrest is not nearly as damaging as a conviction. If an attorney can secure a lesser plea agreement, convince a judge to dismiss the charges against you, or secure a not-guilty verdict, your immigration status (or progress towards permanent-resident status) could be safe.
Anyone Arrested for Domestic Violence in Indiana Must Take Potential Legal Penalties Seriously
A crime of domestic violence is one involving physical or verbal threats, or actual physical violence, between:
Even Americans with birthright citizenship should fear the consequences of a domestic violence conviction. You may face a jail or prison sentence, substantial fine, and other legal penalties if convicted of a domestic violence offense in Indiana.
While an American-born citizen convicted of domestic violence may temporarily lose their freedom, an immigrant may lose their right to remain on American soil altogether.
The Federal Government Can Deport Any Immigration Convicted of Domestic Violence
Having permanent resident status (a green card) can impart a sense of security about your immigration status. Still, even a green card can’t protect you from the consequences of a domestic violence conviction—including deportation.
§237 of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act states that “any alien…at any time after admission [into the United States]…is deportable” if convicted of a crime of domestic violence. Specific deportable offenses listed in this statute include:
The statute explains that if an offense qualifies as domestic violence in Indiana, your conviction of that offense may lead directly to deportation.
U.S. Law Does Not Protect You from Deportation After a Domestic Violence Arrest, But a Criminal Defense Lawyer May
A criminal defense attorney will evaluate your pending criminal charges in the context of your immigration status. We will develop a strategy to protect your right to remain in the United States. Our legal team will also work tirelessly to spare you from legal penalties, which can be harmful whether or not you remain in the United States.
Call Razumich & Associates today at 317-449-8661 or contact us online about your defense against a domestic violence charge.