Immigrants residing in Michigan and elsewhere tend to be hyperaware of everything that may cause them to be deported. There is some confusion, though, about certain criminal offenses and how they can affect one’s immigration status. Contrary to what many people believe, not all crimes are deportable offenses. For example, those convicted on certain misdemeanor charges may not be subject to removal.

When it comes to deporting immigrants for criminal actions, the government really only looks at one thing to determine if removal is appropriate — the type of crime. Anyone convicted of committing a felony-level crime — such as aggravated assault, fraud, theft, embezzlement or murder — is likely to be deported. When it comes to misdemeanor offenses, only those that are considered crimes of moral turpitude — crimes that betray trust — may result in removal. Such misdemeanor offenses may include shoplifting and petty theft, among various others.

When charged with a criminal offense, regardless of how minor it may seem, it is not something to treat lightly. This is true for everyone, but even more so for noncitizens. Not only will one be looking at incarceration, fines and various other penalties that come with a criminal conviction, but one’s immigration status may be in jeopardy and one’s ability to return to the country if deported may be nonexistent.

Noncitizens residing in Michigan who find themselves facing criminal charges may help themselves, their cases and their immigration status by seeking assistance from an experienced immigration law attorney. Legal counsel will be able to review the details of one’s case, offer guidance on how to address the matter, and help one take the steps required to hopefully avoid deportation. While there are never any guarantees that things will go one’s way, it is better to be prepared and have the right people in one’s corner when fighting charges for a deportable offense.