If the defendant is not a U.S. citizen, how will the immigration status be affected by an arrest?

Criminal convictions may cause direct and grave consequences to someone’s immigration status, often leading to deportation proceedings. The INS guidelines are often very complex and our criminal defense attorneys frequently confer with immigration law specialists to properly advise clients. Before going to court, our criminal lawyers discuss with clients their immigration status. Often our Los Angeles attorneys seek charges that are not considered by the INS as moral turpitude offenses (which are subject to deportation), and to convert any possible custody time to community service work.

In Los Angeles, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department is responsible for running the jails and verifies immigration status upon receiving an inmate. As a result, as soon as an inmate is in custody (even if charges are later dismissed), an “immigration hold” may be placed subjecting him or her to deportation proceedings. The inmate may be deported from the United States after the INS picks the inmate up from Sheriff’s custody. The saddest part is that the inmate may be innocent of all charges and still be deported because his/her immigration status is questioned.

Deportation may be preventable, especially when a defendant has financial resources to bail out immediately after an arrest.