Chicago Criminal Immigration Lawyer

Helping Our Clients Avoid Severe Immigration Consequences

Facing charges or living with a criminal conviction is challenging, regardless of who you are. Unfortunately, immigrants dealing with these issues have even more to worry about. That’s because criminal charges can directly affect a person’s immigration status or their ability to obtain citizenship or become lawful permanent residents. If you or a loved one have been charged with crimes under state or federal laws, it’s important to take action. Chicago criminal immigration lawyers may be able to help.

At Gilliam Law, our legal team focuses entirely on issues linked to immigration law. This means we assist individuals seeking legal residency, but we also defend those in danger of losing their status or facing deportation proceedings. Being charged and convicted of a crime is one of the quickest ways to derail your ability to stay in America or secure other benefits, so if you’ve been accused, you should not hesitate to seek legal counsel.

At Gilliam Law, we offer Free Case Evaluation to help potential clients better understand their situations. Contact us today to learn more.

How Does Criminal Law Affect Immigration Law?

Criminal law and immigration law are closely interconnected in the United States. The alleged criminal activities of immigrants — whether they are lawful permanent residents (green card holders), visa holders, or undocumented individuals — can have significant consequences on their immigration status and their ability to remain in the country. A conviction could derail an immigration application that’s already in progress, make an individual inadmissible to the country, or even result in immediate deportation.

It’s also possible that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services could deny, revoke, or choose not to renew a work permit when an immigrant is convicted of a crime. America has a vested interest in reducing crime, and one of the primary ways of doing this is not to allow individuals in the country who may engage in violations of criminal law. Every immigration benefit comes with an expectation, and high moral turpitude is one such expectation.

However, this often results in immigrants being overcharged — and wrongful arrests are not uncommon. This is why it’s so important to speak with a Chicago criminal immigration lawyer when accused of a crime. Doing so could dictate your future in America.

What Should You Do After Being Arrested?

If you or someone you love has been arrested, the two most important things are to remain calm and remain silent. Even undocumented immigrants in America have rights under the law, and the right to remain silent is one of them. Anything you say to the police could potentially be used against you — even if you think a particular fact will only help your case. For instance, there are some crimes where merely being present can make you guilty.

For crimes like this, a person can end up sharing incriminating information under the assumption that they’re professing innocence. Put simply, the American criminal justice system is complex. That’s why remaining silent is the most important thing you can do. However, contacting a criminal defense attorney is also high on the list. Police and prosecutors will say you don’t need representation if you “just tell the truth.” This couldn’t be any further from the truth.

The big mistake most people make is believing that a prosecutor is offering a fair plea deal. They’ll tell you that — by pleading guilty — you’re avoiding more serious charges. They’ll tell you that going to court will only result in more significant penalties. The critical thing to remember is that a criminal defense attorney can assist immigrants with plea deals when necessary — but more importantly, the possibility of having charges dropped or thrown out also exists.

Do You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney?

Whether you are an undocumented immigrant, a visa holder, or a lawful permanent resident, facing criminal charges is a serious matter. In fact, even naturalized Americans can face threats to their citizenship if it’s suspected that they engaged in fraud or misrepresentation during the naturalization process. However, no requirement under American law dictates that a person charged with a crime must seek legal counsel.

In fact, police and prosecutors may even suggest that hiring a criminal defense attorney isn’t in your best interest. This is never the case. The reality is that a Chicago criminal immigration attorney can help in a variety of ways:

  • Provide criminal defense, which could avoid all potential penalties
  • Assess potential immigration consequences so you understand the risks you’re facing
  • Engage in plea negotiations with prosecutors in an effort to minimize adverse effects on immigration status
  • Provision of post-conviction relief options such as vacating convictions, expungement, and more
  • Defense during removal proceedings stemming from criminal convictions
  • Apply for waivers of inadmissibility or removability
  • Representation during appeals and litigation
  • Apply for asylum and other forms of humanitarian relief
  • Exploring ways to adjust immigration status to avoid deportation
  • Provision of legal advice to better understand your options

Theft, marriage fraud, and murder are all very different crimes with very different possible penalties. The one thing that’s constant among these charges is that they all have the potential to result in deportation or other adverse immigration outcomes. If you’re hoping to avoid deportation or removal proceedings — or you simply don’t want a record that follows you everywhere — a Chicago criminal immigration lawyer at Gilliam Law may be able to help. Contact us today for a Free Case Evaluation.

Contact Our Chicago Criminal Immigration Lawyer Today

A criminal conviction can follow a person for their entire life. For immigrants, such convictions can also result in deportation, inadmissibility, and even being ineligible for certain types of extreme relief (e.g., asylum, removal cancellation, etc.). Unfortunately, such consequences are possible even for “victimless crimes” due to issues of moral turpitude. And while prosecutors may try to convince you that pleading guilty is in your best interest, it’s important to seek legal counsel before making such a decision.

At Gilliam Law, our team of legal professionals is here to help. We understand all the nuances of immigration law. We know which criminal charges can interfere with your status in America, and we understand that penalties can be severe even when deportation proceedings aren’t a potential outcome. The simple fact is that you can expect immigration officials to find out about charges and convictions that show up on your record.

However, our Chicago criminal immigration lawyer may be able to help you avoid the most severe consequences. Contact us today at (866) 511-3422 to schedule your Free Case Evaluation.

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