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Immigration Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction

A cropped shot of Welcome to U.S. pamphlet beneath immigration green card.
Immigration Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction

How Domestic Violence Charges Affect Immigration Status

Being convicted of domestic violence can have a hard and lasting impact on your personal life and relationships. These challenges can escalate if you're an immigrant. The truth is that a domestic violence conviction can jeopardize your immigration status—yes, even if you've already legally obtained your green card.

What Immigrants Need to Know About Domestic Violence

Immigrants convicted of domestic violence risk their U.S. citizenship and can even be deported. According to federal laws, immigrants may lose their legal citizenship status if they are convicted of certain crimes, including aggravated felonies or crimes involving moral turpitude (CIMT). Moral turpitude crimes entail a criminal offense that is vile in nature or insulting to one’s moral compass.

Because domestic violence is a deportable crime, it’s crucial for immigrants to seek help from a skilled domestic violence attorney if they face DV charges in the U.S., as a conviction can have dire consequences. An experienced lawyer can help defend your rights and give you a fighting chance in court.

What Is the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)?

In 1952, the Immigration and Nationality Act was enacted as the body of law governing U.S. immigration policy. Under the INA, the U.S. is permitted to grant up to 675,000 permanent immigration visas on an annual basis.

The INA includes policies regarding domestic violence charges. Under the INA, the federal government upholds certain rules regarding domestic violence offenses, and considers a DV crime to be an act of violence committed against a defendant’s:

  • Spouse
  • Ex-spouse
  • Coparent
  • An intimate partner the defendant lives with
  • Another individual protected under state or federal domestic violence laws

Common Domestic Violence Offenses

Under the INA, a domestic violence offense is considered any behavior that entails abuse or threats of abuse to one of the persons listed above. “Abuse” is generally categorized as:

  • Physically hurting or trying to hurt someone
  • Sexual assault
  • Making someone reasonably afraid that they’ll be seriously hurt (such as threats to harm them)
  • Harassing, stalking, threatening, or hitting
  • Disturbing someone’s peace
  • Destroying someone’s personal property

Keep in mind that physical abuse isn’t limited to hitting, but can also include shoving, kicking, pushing, pulling hair, throwing items, scaring someone, following someone, or preventing a person from freely coming and going.

Domestic Violence & Deportation

It’s crucial to understand that even if an immigrant faces a misdemeanor, they can still be deported for a domestic violence conviction under §237 of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act. In addition to deportation, immigrants convicted of a DV charge face denial for other forms of immigration relief, making it all the more important to seek reliable legal counsel from a trusted criminal defense attorney.

Domestic violence charges can be difficult to prove. In some instances, accusations are based on outright lies. If you’re facing a domestic violence charge, it’s essential to take these accusations extremely seriously, as your life and home may very well hang in the balance.

How Can I Avoid Deportation After a DV Conviction?

While deportation is inevitable in some instances, there is hope if you’re facing a domestic violence conviction. Your best bet is to secure the legal support of a skilled criminal defense attorney, as they can help defend your rights and even negotiate a deal on your behalf so you can remain in the U.S.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can help:

  • Negotiate a plea deal in which you plead guilty to a lesser charge
  • Show that there is insufficient evidence for the charge in question
  • Obtain an asylum, hardship waiver, or other forms of relief that allows you to remain in the United States

At the end of the day, deportation is a very real possibility for immigrants facing a domestic violence conviction, regardless of their green card status or whether the charge in question was a misdemeanor. Don’t jeopardize your future by failing to seek the legal guidance you need.

Here to Defend Your Rights in Life’s Toughest Times

Our firm understands how scary it can be to have your life disrupted after one conviction. When it comes to domestic violence, emotions run high and lines can be blurred. That’s why we’re committed to ensuring your side of the story is heard loud and clear in court. Attorney Nabiel C. Ahmed brings over a decade of legal experience to the table and has a successful track record to prove it.

Our team has a hard-earned reputation for picking up on details that other firms may overlook and using them to obtain a favorable outcome in court. We’ve defended thousands of clients, offer flexible payment plans, and have Spanish-speaking staff onsite to accommodate various residents of our unique local community. When it comes to criminal charges, don’t risk your future. Choose the Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed to equip yourself for success today.

Are you an immigrant facing a domestic violence conviction? Don’t let your hard work be for nothing. Call (510) 907-6600 to request your consultation today.