Many of our clients are students who have traveled internationally to study in the United States. Unfortunately, while they are here they often find themselves in legal trouble. A criminal offense can be stressful and a hassle by itself, but when there are immigration issues, it can have additional unforeseen consequences. An international student is often here on a visa, and there may be complications to that visa when they are convicted of a DUI or other criminal charge.
Obtaining the best possible legal representation can help avoid immigration issues. It can help reduce or dismiss the charges against you so that your immigration status remains untouched. In order to better understand how a Los Angeles Criminal Offense lawyer can be useful, let’s consider an example.
Dimitri is an international student studying at a university in California. After finals, he and his friends go out to celebrate. Dimitri has quite a few drinks and is walking down the street with his friends trying to find a cab. Dimitri is stopped by officers and cited for a misdemeanor drunk and disorderly conduct. Dimitri is studying in the United States with a visa, and is not a United States Citizen. If he is convicted of a misdemeanor charge, it can remain on his record and affect his visa status, possible requiring him to return to his home country.
With the help of a Los Angeles Criminal expert Dimitri can review the facts of the case with the help of an experienced and knowledgeable legal professional. He is able to understand the weaknesses and strengths of his case and use them to gives his case the best possible chance of being reduced.
The Los Angeles Attorney will prepare Dimitri’s defense using the evidence available to him. If the case is dismissed, Dimitri will have no criminal record. If there is no criminal record, there will be no effect to his immigration status. If the case is reduced, it would be reduced to an infraction. An infraction does not appear on a person’s criminal record, it is like a traffic ticket. The infraction does not need to be reported, and it does not have an effect on immigration status.
If you have been arrested for a criminal charge, you have not yet been convicted, and until there is a conviction there cannot be a permanent effect on your immigration status. It is highly important that you consult with a legal professional as soon as possible before there are consequences to your immigration status. Do not make the mistake of taking on the stress of a criminal charge alone, especially when there may be immigration consequences. Take the proper steps to give your case the best possible fighting chance, and the best possible odds of being reduced or dismissed altogether. Remember, this is about your future, and a single conviction can result in a change in immigration status. Do not risk your future and your clean record, call an attorney as soon as possible!