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Can I Be Deported for Domestic Violence?

Are you a Green Card holder, otherwise known as a lawful permanent resident? If you have a Green Card and you commit certain offenses, you could be placed in removal proceedings. Once a Green Card holder goes through the citizenship and naturalization process and they become a U.S. Citizen, they can no longer be “deported” to their country of birth. Green Card holders on the other hand, do not have the same protection.

In California and across the nation, a Green Card holder can be deported if he or she commits a violent felony, a drug-related crime, immigration fraud, a crime of “moral turpitude” or domestic violence. Since domestic violence is a common offense, committed by everyday people and immigrants, we wanted to discuss how a domestic violence conviction can affect one’s immigration status.

What is Domestic Violence?

The California Courts define domestic violence as, “abuse or threats of abuse when the person being abused and the abuser are or have been in an intimate relationship (married or domestic partners, are dating or used to date, live or lived together, or have a child together).” Under California law, “abuse” includes:

  • Sexual assault (rape),
  • Intentionally or recklessly hurting someone physically,
  • Making a family or household member reasonably afraid that you’re going to hurt them or someone else,
  • Harassing or stalking someone,
  • Hitting, shoving, kicking, pulling hair, throwing things,
  • Hurting the family pets (animal abuse),
  • Scaring the victim, and
  • Keeping the victim from freely coming or going.

If you’re an immigrant who is being accused of domestic violence, a conviction can lead to removal proceedings. This is because under the Immigration and Nationality Act – General Classes of Deportable Aliens, crimes of stalking, domestic violence, child abuse, and violating a domestic violence protection order can all lead to deportation. Learn more about domestic violence by clicking here.

Some of the other main concerns that trigger removal proceedings include: controlled substances violations (drug crimes), immigration violations, the failure to register as a sex offender, multiple criminal convictions and aggravated felonies.

Facing domestic violence charges? Contact our firm at once to meet with an Orange County criminal defense lawyer for FREE.

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