Criminal accusations as a green card holder

If you are the holder of a green card, you’ll generally feel that you have the rights and liberties of any other U.S. citizen. While, for most intents and purposes you’ll be able to live like anyone else in the U.S., unlike a natural-born citizen, you’ll be at risk of deportation if you do not abide by the rules.

There are two main ways in which you can have your green card revoked. The first is if you leave the U.S. for an extended period of time and don’t apply or qualify for a reentry permit. The second is if you violate the law. This is why it is especially important that you stay out of trouble with the law as a green card holder.

If you have been accused of a crime as the holder of a green card, the following are some key things that you should know.

Even minor convictions can lead to deportation

It’s not only murder or manslaughter charges that can lead to your deportation. You could also be deported for drug possession, petty theft or a DUI.

You should defend yourself against the accusation

Your first reaction should be to try to defend yourself against the accusation. You may be able to show that you are not guilty of the crime and, therefore, have all charges dropped, which will solve the threat of deportation.

You should ask the judge to grant cancellation of removal

If you are found guilty of the crime, your next option is to ask the judge to grant cancellation of removal for a lawful permanent resident. To do this successfully, you’ll need to show that you have had a continual and lawful residence for at least seven years and that you are not an aggravated felon.

If you have been accused of a crime as a green card holder, take swift action to take the necessary steps to avoid deportation.