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A Drug Crime Can Lead to Deportation

Texas is home to a large immigrant community, and for those that are not citizens of the United States, a drug-related crime conviction can be the difference between staying in the country or being forced to leave. It does not matter whether the accused has a green card or if they are undocumented. Any drug crime in the United States carries the threat of deportation.

Can admission of a drug crime lead to deportation?

An immigrant that has been accused of violating the law as it applies to drug crimes is facing serious consequences. When an immigrant is convicted of violating drug laws they are not only eligible to be deported to the country they arrived from, but is also ineligible from returning to the United States at a later time. Further, an immigrant can be deported if they admit to all of the essential elements of the crime, whether or not they have admitted guilt to the crime.

Admission of a drug crime means that:

  • The immigrant has admitted to acts that would make up the crime;
  • The acts that were admitted to was illegal under Texas law; and
  • The immigrant was informed of the elements of the crime in terms that they understood.

When the immigrant has made the admission of a drug crime, the United States Department of Homeland Security will begin to initiate removal proceedings to begin deportation. At this time, the accused can either attempt to gain a waiver of inadmissibility for drug crimes or a cancellation of removal. A waiver of inadmissibility will cancel the deportation and forgive the crime only if the crime involved 30 grams or less of marijuana for a person's own usage or the result of a guilty, no-contest plea agreement made prior to April 1, 1997. If the drug conviction did not involve the sale of drugs, a cancellation of removal can be explored as an option to remain in the United States.

The first step that any immigrant should take if they are arrested for a drug crime is to call a drug crimes defense attorney. Before a criminal conviction, a drug defense attorney can work to reduce or eliminate the charges that may lead to removal from the United States.