I’ve been arrested and I’m a non-U.S. citizen. Should I plead guilty to receive probation and avoid jail time?

It sounds appealing to plead guilty and get probation to avoid jail time. However, if you are not a U.S. citizen, this could be extremely damaging to your future chances of getting immigration status or even keeping your residency if you are a lawful permanent resident.

You might be able to avoid jail time for the charge now, but that one conviction could lead to your deportation. This is true even if you think it’s a minor offense. Immigration law and policy change, and so do your personal circumstances. You might be able to access status in the future, but a criminal record could completely ruin any chance. Even if you don’t have status when you enter deportation proceedings, there are ways to fight the deportation and help you stay. A criminal record could potentially destroy any chances of keeping you here.

It’s really important that an experienced CrImmigration attorney looks carefully at all of your options and goes back to understand all of your immigration history to see exactly how this specific situation can affect you. Every case is different. Contact a CrImmigration Attorney as soon as you or a loved one get arrested. Don’t wait to the last minute before court. Every minute counts!

We here at STERN Law would love the opportunity to step in at the first moment you realize you have a criminal case to spend the time that’s necessary to defend you properly and make sure that you have the opportunity to stay here in the United States permanently.

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