Immigration Consequences of a Criminal Conviction

At Pallegar Law, P.A. we are a proponent of legal immigration. After all, Mr. Pallegar was born in Preston, England and moved to the United States to pursue his legal career. We believe that the principles on which this country is built are based on the contributions of individuals that moved here from foreign soil. Therefore, legal immigration is a necessary part of our culture.

As an experienced criminal defense law firm, at Pallegar Law, P.A. we frequently represent individuals who are citizens of other countries but reside in the United States either as a permanent resident alien (green card holder), naturalized citizen, or other visa. As your personal Tamp criminal defense attorney, we work in conjunction with the immigration system to make sure that the charge does not jeopardize your ability to stay in the country. Most felonies and some misdemeanors are deportable offenses depending on the circumstances and seriousness of the charge or crime. If necessary we will get an immigration attorney involved in your case from very early on.

A DUI conviction, regardless of whether it was the result of a guilty verdict after trial or entering a plea during pretrial, may affect the immigration status of non-citizens. It could result in deportation or prevent you from gaining US citizenship.

For example, non-Canadian citizens may be barred from entry into Canada upon a conviction on a misdemeanor DUI. This is determined by a 2-prong test:

First, would the charge if originated in Canada be a felony;


Is DUI an indictable offense based on Canadian law.

The answer to this question is yes. A DUI, in Canada, is both a felony and an indictable offense.

However, immigration officers may make exceptions to this rule of law and grant a person entry into Canada if they have a DUI conviction in Tampa subject to certain restrictions. One restriction is limiting the amount of time you can stay in Canada to 30 days.

Once at least five years have passed from the date of the completion of the conditions of the sentence the restrictions on entering Canada are relaxed as long as you have no more than two convictions. Bottom line is that entry into Canada can be a pain.

However, at Pallegar Law, P.A. our Tampa criminal defense attorney will do everything within his power to prevent a DUI conviction so you never have an issue entering Canada or any other country.

Immigration plays such an important factor in criminal court that every plea form and every colloquy read by the judge contains an deportation consequences section. This usually reads as follows:

“I understand that if I am not a United States citizen, I may be subject to deportation, suffer further negative immigration consequences, and/or be denied citizenship as a result of this plea, and if I am represented by an attorney, I specifically spoke to my attorney about these consequences.”

Therefore in most cases once a plea is entered in cannot be appealed unless there was an error with the administration of the sentence.

If you are facing criminal charges and have immigration concerns, contact an experienced Tampa criminal defense lawyer today at Pallegar Law, P.A. by calling 813-444-3912. We will lead you in the right direction.

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