Southaven Permanent Resident Criminal Defense Lawyer
At the law office of Patrick E. Stegall, I represent legal immigrants who have been charged with crimes in the North Mississippi area. The laws governing how immigration courts handle criminal offenses are complex, strict, and sometimes mysterious. If you are a visa or green card holder in Mississippi facing a criminal charge, contact an experienced Southaven criminal defense attorney to discuss your case.
Crimes of moral turpitude and aggravated felonies
For immigration purposes, most offenses are classified as either crimes involving moral turpitude or aggravated felonies. These crimes can have a severe impact on a noncitizen in this country, and can subject him or her to deportation. Worse, what constitutes one of these crimes is not always clear. There is no established definition, and immigration courts are inconsistent in determining what is and is not such a crime.
Despite the confusion, the following types of crimes are known to meet the standard of moral turpitude and/or aggravated felony:
•Drug possession and weapons trafficking
•Fraud and forgery
Crimes against the government
•Obstruction of justice
Criminal Attorney for Mississippi Immigrants
For permanent residents charged with a crime, it is imperative that legal representation is retained. At stake could be your and your family’s future in the United States.
As a Southaven Criminal Defense Lawyer I can review the case and advise you of your options. A deferment of the charges is the best result. This means that the case is dismissed without a conviction or jail time. The accused does not plead guilty, and this is important because under immigration law any type of plea can damage your permanent resident status. If that option isn’t available, I’d try to reduce the charge to the “petty offense exception.” Under this law, offenders can remain in the United States if 1) the maximum punishment for the crime was less than one year; 2) the individual was sentenced to serve six months or less in prison; and 3) it is the individual’s first and only offense. Finally, if necessary, you can maintain your innocence and take your case to trial, with the goal of being found not guilty by a jury. This option should be reserved for the most serious charges where the accused is facing substantial prison time, such as drug trafficking, sex crimes, or homicide. To learn more about your case and what options you have in resolving it, please contact me today.