A non-U.S. citizen facing the possible conviction of a domestic-related criminal charge needs to consider the fact that domestic violence convictions can trigger the start of “removal” or deportation proceedings. In removal proceedings, the U.S. government argues that a non-citizen needs to be ordered to leave the U.S. This can happen even if you are a lawful permanent resident or have a “green card.”
A “crime of violence” charged against a person:
A “crime of violence” is one in which the crime involves the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against a person or property. The second type of “crime of violence” is a felony that by its nature involves the risk of physical force.
For purposes of immigration law, it does not matter if your conviction was only a misdemeanor or that that you received a particular minimum sentence. The definition of what is a conviction for immigration law is different than what is a conviction for criminal purposes. It does matter if your conviction is from before September 30, 1996 because that it was when the law changed.
There are certain defenses in immigration court if you have been convicted of a domestic violence related charge and there are certain pleas that can mitigate any damage done to your immigration status.