Call today to schedule your immigration consultation 954-385-0157 or email: BAlvarado@Blandon-Law.com.

Blandon Law Immigration

Monday, January 4, 2010

Defending Un-Convicted Foreign Convicts


      The first step in determining whether criminal activity will have immigration consequences – including removal from the U.S. or detention within the U.S. – calls for a simple question: was the foreigner convicted of a crime?

     In the non-immigration world, that question would have a simple yes or no answer. However, non-American citizens are “convicted” even where no court or jury entered a finding of guilt. The immigration law considers “withholding” of guilt a conviction if:

-- the foreigner enters a plea of nolo contendre (no contest), OR
-- the foreigner admits facts to warrant a finding of guilt
AND
-- the judge orders some form of punishment, penalty or restraint on the foreigner’s liberty

     Even where the judge suspended the sentence in whole or in part or the only penalty imposed was court costs, the foreigner is considered a “convicted” criminal for immigration purposes.
     In order to avoid the consequences of a conviction, a pretrial intervention program is preferred. Under these programs, the foreigner completes a probation-like program, maybe with classes, and in exchange the charges are dropped. The signed statement of guilt that a person arrested usually must make to the prosecutor to enter into a pretrial program does not qualify as an admission under immigration law.

General Frequently Asked Questions

Call today to schedule your immigration consultation

954-385-0157 or email: blandonappts@aol.com