What is a Conviction For Immigration Purposes?

Texas is a state in which many illegal immigrants reside. When an illegal immigrant is arrested for a criminal charge the criminal defense attorney must always consider how an outcome in a criminal case will effect the immigration status of the client. Virtually any type of criminal offense can have drastic effects on an aliens immigration status. Even a Class C misdemeanor, particularly if it is an assault case, can cause a person to be deported.

A huge problem comes with the definition of a conviction. In Texas criminal law if a person receives deferred adjudication for a criminal offense there is no conviction. However if an immigrant receives deferred probation it is considered a conviction by the immigration authorities.

Any admission of sufficient facts to support a finding of guilt and some form of punishment, penalty or restraint of liberty is considered a conviction for immigration purposes.

Even a pre-trial diversion program can be considered a conviction for immigration purposes if there is some requirement for an admission or finding of guilt prior to granting the pre=trial diversion program.

A criminal attorney should always insist the immigrant client hire an immigration attorney to work as a team for the desired outcome in a criminal case. Often the criminal lawyer is forced to have a criminal trial because the prosecution will not agree to a disposition that can protect the clients immigration status.

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