Will an arrest lead to deportation?

On Behalf of | Aug 14, 2023 | Immigration Law

Being an immigrant to the United States is not always easy. It can be tough to adapt to the culture and to follow all the rules set for people in your position.

Add in that you may worry that anything you do could lead to deportation. A mistake, such as getting a traffic ticket, may send you into an anxious state that officials may use it to deport you. But, you probably do not have much to worry about since immigration services usually focus on higher-level criminal activity to use as a basis for deporting immigrants.

The basic law about criminal charges for immigrants

Federal law does state that any violation of the law could be grounds for deportation. Technically, this does mean a traffic ticket could lead to problems for you, but in reality, it is highly unlikely. Officials tend to focus on severe criminal activity, and they will typically only make a move for a conviction.

Crimes that could lead to trouble

Criminal charges that occur shortly after you enter the United States may draw more attention than those that happen later. This is true with crimes of moral turpitude when your conviction s within five years of you entering the country.

More often, officials look at crimes where you could get a sentence of one year or more, mostly felony charges and not minor infractions. Also, any crime related to immigration, such as fleeing immigration checkpoints or falsifying your immigration documents, would be more likely to lead to deportation.

Officials also will look for heinous crimes, such as murder, sexual-based crimes or crimes against the United States government, such as treason. Drug crimes are another category that will get more attention.

The bottom line is a minor legal issue probably will not cause you issues, but ideally, you should avoid any criminal convictions so that you do not have to worry about problems with your immigration status.