As many people may realize, those who are not American citizens and who commit certain crimes are in danger of deportation. This is true even if the person accused is otherwise in the United States with proper authorization.
Not all criminal convictions lead to deportation, but a surprising number of them do. Even some misdemeanor offenses can lead to deportation, even if it is one-off mistake.
Indeed, many offenses that otherwise upstanding citizens get accused of can, in the case of an immigrant, lead to deportation.
For example, any so-called crime of moral turpitude can lead to deportation if the person could receive a jail sentence of at least one year. Deportation is possible even if the judge hearing the criminal case does not actually give a jail sentence at all.
An immigrant convicted of more than one crime of moral turpitude risks deportation no matter the length of his or her sentence.
Crimes of moral turpitude include a range of offenses, including crimes like shoplifting or even making a false statement when trying to procure loan, get government benefits, filing an insurance claim or the like.
Likewise, certain crimes related to domestic violence or child neglect and abuse make an immigrant deportable from the country. Even violating a protective order can expose an immigrant to a deportation proceeding.
Finally, most offenses relating to illegal drugs, including the possession of more than 30 grams of marijuana, can lead to deportation even for a first-time conviction.
The bottom line is that any immigrant in Arizona accused of any crime should strongly consider speaking to an experienced immigration attorney. Sometimes, even if the criminal conviction has already been entered, residents of the Phoenix area may have some legal options available.