Deportation & Drug Possession
Do Drug Possession Charges Provide Grounds for Deportation?
Being convicted of a crime can be disastrous for non-citizens living in the United States.
Federal immigration officials already have legal grounds to deport people who are undocumented or have come to the U.S. illegally, but criminal charges can also put legal, documented immigrants in a precarious position and potentially result in permanent expulsion from the country. Even a relatively minor, non-violent crime such as drug possession could jeopardize your lawful immigration status or result in deportation.
Seek legal representation immediately if you are facing drug charges of any kind.
Call Berry Law at 402-817-6469 today to speak to a Nebraska criminal defense lawyer.
Meeting Federal Standards for Deportability
According to Act 237 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, migrants may be deported after a drug possession conviction if the crime meets the following criteria:
- Moral Turpitude (I.N.A. § 237(a)(2)(A)(i)(I)): This is a very broad, subjective term that can apply to a long list of crimes, including (although not frequently) drug offenses. In cases of drug possession, criminal justice officials may view the crime as morally turpitudinous if the perpetrator appears to have willfully, deliberately broken the law in an especially heinous fashion. Though every case is different, most cases of drug possession do not involve moral turpitude, since a crime must be especially vile or have an elevated level of depravity to be classified as such.
- Sentence Length (I.N.A. § 237(a)(2)(A)(i)(II)): In addition to demonstrating moral turpitude, the crime of which you are convicted must carry a jail or prison sentence of at least 1 year.
- Multiple Criminal Convictions (I.N.A. § 237(a)(2)(A)(ii)): You may also be deported if you have been convicted of at least 2 crimes involving moral turpitude, even if multiple convictions were issued as part of one criminal trial.
- Convicted Possession of a Controlled Substance (I.N.A. § 237(a)(2)(B)(i)): Migrants may be deported if they are convicted of violating or intending to violate state or federal laws regarding the use and possession of controlled substances. The only exception to this is possession of no more than 30 grams of marijuana for personal use, in states where it is legal. (It is not legal in Nebraska.)
- Drug Addiction or Abuse (I.N.A. § 237(a)(2)(B)(ii)): You may be deported if investigation reveals that you have abused or become addicted to drugs.
In short, you may be facing deportation if you have been found in possession of more than 30 grams of marijuana or any amount of another illegal substance, especially if you have previous drug charges, arrests, and/or convictions on your record.
Drug Charges May Put Your Immigration Status in Jeopardy
Even if you are not ultimately deported for a drug offense, having drug charges and drug-related arrests on your record can negatively impact your ability to renew your visa, obtain a green card, or become a naturalized U.S. citizen.
In the state of Nebraska, you may be subject to a $300 fine if you are a first-time offender found in possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana. In addition to fines, a drug possession conviction could negatively affect your employment prospects, your ability to gain approval for loans, your status as a capable parent during child custody proceedings, and more.
In order to safeguard your future in the United States, and avoid fines and other penalties associated with drug possession in Nebraska, you must secure legal representation from a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Highly Skilled Drug Possession Lawyers in Nebraska
Our team at Berry Law has served many people facing criminal drug charges. We are skillful negotiators and compelling advocates, capable of achieving drug charge dismissal when possible and mitigating penalties when a conviction is unavoidable. Get in touch with one of our experienced drug possession attorneys in Nebraska as soon as possible in order to receive a case evaluation and discuss your options.
Check Out Our Blog for More Information on Drug Charges
The way such cases are handled often gives rise to many questions regarding police conduct, penalties for certain charges, and more. Our Nebraska drug crime lawyers have the answers you need. After contacting our firm, head over to our blog and see what our attorneys have to say regarding these and other common drug crime queries: