Criminal Defense for Non-Citizens
Criminal prosecution can have serious immigration consequences for people in Minnesota who are not U.S. citizens. You could face:
- Deportation (Removal),
- Denial of Naturalization, and-or suffer a
- Bar to Re-Entry,
- Other, such as renewal and upgrade problems
Your criminal defense lawyer should have experience preventing immigration problems by managing the criminal case.
Can they deport a Permanent Resident for a criminal conviction?
Even if you are a Permanent Resident, removal or deportation can result from a criminal charge.
Do not let this happen to you. The best way to prevent criminal-law related immigration consequences is to avoid the triggering criminal conviction, first.
Attorney Thomas Gallagher has helped his clients avoid deportation for many years. And he has represented many non-citizens accused of crimes in Minnesota, over his 30 years in criminal defense.
Attorney Thomas Gallagher teaches other lawyers how to avoid immigration law problems by best defending the criminal case. Generally his clients also consult an immigration lawyer, who works with Gallagher.
The criminal defense lawyer must have a working knowledge of immigration law and consequences. And he should be able to work with a client’s immigration lawyer as well. This double approach ensures that we can achieve the best possible outcome.
Gallagher Criminal Defense offers a free initial consultation, up to one-half hour, about how to avoid immigration consequences with criminal defense. Call 612 333-1500
The two most common grounds for Removal due to a criminal conviction
When a criminal case triggers an immigration law problem, the worst is Removal. Also called Deportation, Removal from the United States is a severe penalty.
The two most common federal grounds for Removal due to criminal conviction are:
- Aggravated Felony
- Crimes of Moral Turpitude
So, preventing the “conviction” can prevent the immigration consequences. Why the quotation marks around “conviction?” Because some criminal law outcomes that are not “convictions” under Minnesota law, are “convictions” under federal immigration law. That is just one of many traps for the criminal defendant.
Some criminal lawyers know little of immigration law. And that’s why you need a criminal lawyer who knows immigration law, like Attorney Thomas Gallagher.
Aggravated Felony Conviction
You need to know if a felony charge is an “aggravated felony.” And this is not intuitive. Because some federal “aggravated felonies” are:
- not felonies under Minnesota state law, and
- not “aggravated” in any common sense.
If a charge fits the “aggravated felony” definition, then we must try to avoid a “conviction” for an “aggravated felony.”
Crimes of Moral Turpitude
If a charge does not next fit the federal “aggravated felony” definition, is it a “crime of moral turpitude?”
The federal immigration law defines crimes of moral turpitude. But the federal statutes and rules are not always clear. So we look to the courts for guidance about which crimes fit the federal “crime of moral turpitude” definition.
Generally, one conviction for a “crime of moral turpitude” does not trigger Removal or Deportation.
However, just one can cause other negative immigration consequences, including denial of a Naturalization (citizenship) application.
But two convictions for a “crime of moral turpitude” will trigger Removal or Deportation.
Therefore, you should avoid the first one. After all, you can’t end up with two, if you avoid the first.
Minnesota criminal charges that can cause immigration consequences include:
- Domestic Assault, whether misdemeanor or felony level;
- Federally defined “aggravated felony” (which can include non-felonies), including many Minnesota,
- gun and firearm related crimes;
- drug crimes, including marijuana offenses;
- sex crimes;
- “Crimes of Moral Turpitude,” such as,
- Shoplifting and theft;
Minnesota Defense Attorney Thomas Gallagher has represented non-citizen clients from these groups, so far:
- South America
Question about defending a criminal charge to avoid immigration consequences? Call Minneapolis Criminal Lawyer Thomas Gallagher at 612 333-1500