Once you have earned the right to be in the U.S. legally, you want to avoid doing anything that results in criminal charges. If convicted of certain offenses, deportation is sometimes among the penalties non-U.S. citizens face.
Government agencies generally take a harsh stance against domestic offenses and look closely at those involving immigrants. Since trouble on the home front can impact anyone, you should familiarize yourself with potentially deportable family-involved crimes.
Offenses under the domestic violence umbrella
When people think about domestic violence, they usually picture an escalating dispute between two romantic partners. While most of these offenses do occur this way, they can also involve children and other family members.
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) lists the following as potentially deportable crimes of domestic violence.
- Violent crimes committed against a former or current domestic partner (or spouse)
- Crimes committed against children, such as neglect, abandonment or abuse
- Violation of a protective order issued to shield against domestic violence
- Crimes that involve stalking
An arrest for domestic violence is not enough to lay the groundwork for deportation. A court must convict you of committing the offense. Notably, pleading guilty to a crime of domestic violence can also trigger removal proceedings.
Avoiding a conviction is your first priority
The right to remain in the U.S. hinges on whether your case is dismissed or results in a conviction. Address your circumstances in the order they arise to obtain the most favorable outcome.
For example, focus first on avoiding a conviction by building a strong defense. In other words, don’t let the stress and fear of possible removal keep you from exploring your defense options under California law.