In short, the answer is yes! But it’s not a ‘simple’ yes as explained below. A non-U.S. citizen residing in the United States is always subject to severe immigration consequences whenever facing criminal charges such as larceny, drug use (including marijuana), or driving under the influence.
As an illustration, a student who is in F-1 status for his or her graduate program makes the mistake of getting in their car for a short drive home after having a couple drinks. The blue lights flash, and next thing…he or she is detained and charged with a DUI. To complicate things, the student’s I-20 just expired and the new I-20 was set to issue in the next few days. As standard, ICE Enforcement & Removal Office (‘ERO’) scans the State criminal charges for the day, and discovers graduate student. A Federal detainer is then placed on student by ICE-ERO.
First and foremost, the student should promptly accept the offer by the State Judge for a Public Defender ‘free’ of charge as a matter of law. In contrast, immigration lawyers are not free and seasoned immigration lawyers who can actually navigate the cross section of immigration and criminal law are rare and costly.
As soon as a Public Defender is assigned for free, the student would hire an experienced Immigration attorney to defend against removal/deportation and the possibility of a permanent bar to reentry to the United States. Once the student hires immigration counsel committed to working closely with the Public Defender for every step of the criminal case, the result is ‘two lawyers hired for the price of on!! The graduate student would pay for one lawyer, but have both immigration and criminal counsel retained for his or her complex legal defense.
ScottVassell Lawyers have years of experience in Crimmigration law (the combination of immigration and criminal law matters). All attorneys are members of the American Immigration Lawyers Association-AILA. For detained clients, same day appointments are scheduled with our lawyers whenever possible for an initial no fee consultation.
We serve immigration clients across the United States & globally from our offices located in Washington D.C, Virginia and Maryland. As a full-service immigration practice, we not only represent cases in Immigration courts, but also have over 22 years of experience in representing businesses, entrepreneurs, investors, individuals and families U.S. visa case matters. You may schedule an appointment by emailing [email protected]; or visit us at www.vasselllaw.com. (Initial 20 minute Free Video or In Office Consultations Available upon Request).