When a crime is charged, and respondent is not convicted, it may cause him to be inadmissible when he admits the essential elements of the crime.
This inadmissibility happens under 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2)(A)(i) (ground of inadmissibility for any alien who is convicted of or admits committing the essential acts of a crime involving moral turpitude).
However conviction of certain crimes causes a Green Card Holder, a Valid Visa Holder, or a Permanent Resident, to be removable from United States under 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(i) (ground of deportability for an alien convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude).
Use of Controlled Substance may also be grounds to be used to bar an applicant’s entry like when applicant was determined inadmissible because he used marijuana in Philippines which was violation of a foreign state rules pertaining controlled substance. 8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(2)(A)(i)(II); Pazcoguin v. Radcliffe, 292 F.3d 1209, 1218 (9th Cir. 2002)
But What is a Conviction? A conviction happens when a court or a jury finds the alien guilty; whether a formal judgment has been entered or the alien has entered some form of plea (even nolo contendere or any form of admission to find guilt) or some form of penalty, punishment or restraint has been imposed upon alien. Reyes v. Lynch, 834 F.3d 1104, 1107 (9th Cir. 2016)
Nolo contendere means when a person charged in a criminal prosecution admits to be convicted by pleading guilty but does not admit guilt.
The laws here are very fact sensitive and at times appear unfair to an immigrant. For Example It has been decided that the underlying offense be labeled a crime as long as the proceedings are ‘criminal in nature. ’” Diaz-Quirazco, 931 F.3d at 835, 843–46 ; violation of protection order is enough grounds to remove an alien.
Or, when a juvenile is tried as an adult under state laws, he can be removable under immigration laws; Vargas-Hernandez v. Gonzales, 497 F.3d 919, 927 (9th Cir. 2007). and Rangel-Zuazo v. Holder, 678 F.3d 967, 968–69 (9th Cir. 2012).
Immigration cases are complex and very different each time facts change. The best way to ensure your best interest is to consult with a knowledgeable lawyer, who passionately cares about your situation.
This is a legal blog. It is not intended to be used as legal advice. This blog does not create Attorney-Client Relationship. For further information please contact the law offices of attorney Ramona Kennedy.
Ramona Kennedy (Attorney) received her Jurisprudence Doctorate in America and is a licensed attorney in California (USA). Ramona Kennedy is a member of American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) & Orange County Trial Lawyers’ Association. Ramona Kennedy is fluent in English and Farsi (Persian).
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