Today’s political climate is not the most favorable for immigrants. Those who have not gained full citizenship can face deportation for even minor drug offenses. In addition, it makes it more difficult to gain citizenship in the future. Here, we will take a look at your options if you are a green card holder or lawful resident who has been charged with DUI in Illinois. A Chicago immigration DUI lawyer with Law Offices of Jonathan Minkus can offer legal guidance.
If you have full citizenship status, there are very few crimes that will rise to the standard needed to deport you. Those crimes are sedition or taking adverse actions against the U.S. government. So as long as you are not trying to overthrow the U.S. government or otherwise interfere with its operations, you will not face deportation. You will, however, face criminal charges for which you could receive jail time. If that is the case, then you will require a Chicago criminal defense attorney to ensure that you get the best possible deal or beat the charges.
Non-naturalized legal residents (green card holders) can be deported for legal infractions. Those who have not applied for green cards or do not have a legal right to be here can be deported simply for being here illegally.
Before you take a plea deal, your lawyer should advise you as to the consequences of a conviction on your immigration status. If they do not, this constitutes ineffective assistance of counsel and can be used as grounds for an appeal. Judges in Illinois are now required to tell legal residents that a conviction on a drug plea can have a serious negative impact on their residency status. It may be grounds for deportation.
This does not mean that a conviction or plea will definitely have an impact on your residency status. It only means that it could. The judge will not know because the laws often shift. Under President Obama, it was customary to deport lawful residents who were convicted of minor crimes and this has also been the case under President Trump.
It is also important to realize that, even if a defendant is not convicted of a crime, factual evidence that suggests that they should have been convicted can be used against them in immigration court. Illinois has programs that allow offenders to make amends without confessing to a crime. While their record will not show a conviction, an immigration court might use this as the basis for taking an action against them.
The Law Offices of Jonathan Minkus have successfully helped our clients remain in the U.S. even after being convicted of a crime in Illinois. Contact our immigration defense attorneys immediately if you are worried about your lawful residency status.
Senior Partner Jonathan Minkus has successfully defended individuals charged with every conceivable criminal offense, from traffic misdemeanors to death-penalty eligible homicides.