Being accused of a sex offense is always life-changing. But if you’re an immigrant or working to become an American citizen, the stakes are especially high. If convicted, you will probably be deported after serving your sentence and barred from reentry. This means leaving behind the life that you and your family worked hard to build in the United States.
If you’ve been accused, arrested, or questioned about a crime like sexual assault, rape, or child molestation, you need to act fast. Do not try to convince the officers or prosecutors it is all a mistake. Instead, protect yourself by talking to an experienced and dedicated Houston sex crime lawyer. Also, never accept a plea or admit wrongdoing until you understand the effect it will have on your immigration status.
Contact The Law Offices of Ned Barnett today. With decades of experience and a history of resolving sexual offenses favorably, attorney Barnett will handle the matter properly and fight hard to keep you in the country,
Sex Crimes That May Result in Deportation
In the United States, immigration law is governed by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This sets out immigration consequences for people convicted of crimes of “moral turpitude” (most sex crimes), and aggravated felonies, which include:
- Sexual assault
- Possession or creation of child pornography
- Statutory sexual assault
- Involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a minor
Your Immigration Stattus is Important
Depending on your immigration status, a sex crime conviction may affect your residency in the United States in different ways:
- Legal permanent residents–You may be deported and detained while your removal proceedings are underway. If you avoid deportation, you may still be barred from becoming a citizen later. If you get deported, you will be permanently barred from entering the U.S. If you attempt to reenter, you may face 20 years in prison.
- Refugees and asylees–You may be deported no matter what dangers you might face in your country of origin. If you avoid deportation, you will probably be ineligible for lawful permanent resident status.
- Non-citizens with temporary lawful status–If you’re in the country on a nonimmigrant visa or you benefit from temporary protection status, you may lose that status and face removal proceedings if the sex crime was a felony.
- Noncitizen without legal status–These individuals are subject to removal from the United States regardless of whether they commit a crime.
DHS Notice to Appear
Upon learning of your conviction for a sex crime, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will send you a Notice to Appear. This is the beginning of the removal proceedings, which depending on your case may involve several hearings.
If the immigration judge rules that you qualify for removal, you and your immigration attorney will need to file for relief from removal, which may or may not be granted at the judge’s discretion.
To stay in the United States legally, it’s best that you avoid going to immigration court in the first place.
How Attorney Ned Barnett Can Help
The best way to avoid deportation for a sex crime conviction or any of “moral turpitude” offense is to get the case dismissed, be found not guilty, or avoid formal charges altogether–the reason why your removal proceedings started.
With an experienced and successful defense attorney, like attorney Barnett, you can discuss the best way to defend yourself and pursue all your options. Recently named to the Super Lawyers list of the most effective and trusted legal professionals in the nation, Houston criminal defense attorney Ned Barnett stands ready to lead your case to a positive resolution.
Investigate & Limit Evidence
The first step is to review all of the evidence against you and determine whether any of it can be excluded. By filing a motion to suppress evidence that may have been obtained illegally, Ned Barnett can reduce the prosecutor’s ability to prove reasonable doubt at trial. For example, if the police obtained a confession from you about the alleged sex crime after questioning you in a way that violated your rights, that confession may be removed from the case.
This could even lead to a dismissal of all the charges if it was the primary reason you were charged. Even if there is other evidence, by weakening their case, the prosecutor may be more open to negotiating.
If your case does proceed to a trial, attorney Ned Barnett will develop the strongest possible defense and use all of his skills to show a reasonable doubt regarding your guilt. This may include showing how you were mistaken for the real offender, proving someone is making a false claim or establishing that you weren’t present when the crime occurred.
Speak with Attorney Barnett Today
The sooner you start working with an attorney, the higher your chances of avoiding a conviction and possible deportation. Those investigating the crime are not concerned with your rights or your ability to stay in this country. So, do not try to clear things up by making a statement without a lawyer present.
To find out more about how Ned Barnett can defend your case, call (713) 222-6767 today for your confidential consultation.