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Lafayette, Indiana Attorney: Defending Criminal Charges Against Foreign Nationals and International Students

Certain criminal convictions can have harsh immigration consequences for foreign nationals, including deportation and/or being inadmissible to the United States. If a person who is not an American citizen is charged with a crime, the defense of the criminal case must include an analysis of the immigration consequences to the accused.

If a foreign national is convicted of a crime of moral turpitude, they may be inadmissible to the United States, unless the offense falls under the petty offense exception. If a crime of moral turpitude is committed within five years of admission to the United States and is a crime for which a sentence of one or more years may be imposed, the person is deportable. Controlled substance offenses and aggravated felonies will also make a foreign national deportable.

If a foreign national is arrested or is a suspect of a crime, it is important to retain an experienced criminal attorney immediately. Under federal immigration law, a person who admits the essential elements of a crime involving moral turpitude is inadmissible to the United States, even if they are not convicted of the crime. Police often initiate aggressive interrogation of suspects when they are arrested and these interviews are usually recorded. To protect their immigration status, a foreign national should never give a statement about a crime without their attorney present.



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