Immigration consequences of various criminal offenses
Our United States Supreme Court, in Padilla v. United States, has held that immigration consequences to criminal convictions and pleas are no longer collateral consequences of a plea. Criminal Attorneys have a duty to their foreign born clients to advise them of the immigration consequences of accepting a plea in a criminal case.
In Rhode Island, a resolution to a criminal offense, where the individual receives only a sentence of probation and no fine, is not considered a conviction in Rhode Island. However this type of resolution most definitely is considered a criminal conviction for immigration purposes.
For example, a client who is a Lawful Permanent Resident, who is charge with simple assault/domestic, who accepts a plea of probation for one year with domestic violence classes and a contribution to the victims’ fund, may be advised by his attorney that this resolution does not result in a conviction. This is true for the purposes of the State of Rhode Island. However, Immigration follows federal law and not state law. Under the definition of a conviction under Immigration Naturalization Act, this resolution most definitely is considered a conviction for Immigration purposes and can cause the client to be placed in removal proceedings and be charged with removability pursuant to the Immigration Naturalization Act.
The list of criminal charges and /or convictions that can trigger the initiation of removal proceedings is endless, however here are a few: simple assault/battery, shoplifting, possession of marijuana and any other controlled substance, manufacturing/distribution of a controlled substance, larceny, burglary, possession of a fire arm, and even disorderly conduct/domestic.
If you have been charged with a criminal offense, and you are facing a criminal charge, contact the Law Offices of Gonzalez Law Offices and get the advice you need and deserve before you accept a plea that could be detrimental to you and your family.