Criminal charges can have a significant impact on immigration proceedings and the ability of an individual to remain in Canada. It is important for those facing criminal charges to understand how these charges may affect their immigration status and what steps they can take to protect their rights. Sean Fagan Criminal Defence Lawyer, home to experienced immigration lawyers in Canada, provides the below insights:
Under Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), certain criminal offenses are considered to be “serious criminality,” which can make an individual inadmissible to Canada. Examples of serious criminality include offenses that carry a maximum prison sentence of at least 10 years, such as murder, sexual assault, and aggravated assault. In addition, an individual may be inadmissible to Canada if they have been convicted of a crime that would be considered an offense under the IRPA, even if the offense was committed outside of Canada.
Even if an individual has not been convicted of a crime, they may still be found inadmissible to Canada if they have been charged with a crime that carries a maximum prison sentence of at least six months. This is known as “criminality on the basis of conduct.”
Criminal Charges That Can Affect Immigration Proceedings
There are many different types of criminal charges that can affect immigration proceedings, including:
- Crimes of Moral Turpitude – These are crimes that are considered to be particularly heinous or morally reprehensible, such as fraud, theft, and certain types of assault. A conviction for a crime of moral turpitude can make an individual inadmissible to Canada or subject to deportation.
- Drug Offenses – Convictions for possession, distribution, or trafficking of illegal drugs can make you inadmissible to the country or subject to deportation.
- Domestic Violence
- Convictions for certain gun offenses, such as possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
- Convictions for certain sexual offenses, such as rape or sexual abuse
- Human trafficking conviction
These are just a few examples of the types of criminal charges that can affect immigration proceedings. There are many other types of criminal charges that can impact one’s ability to remain in Canada, and it is important to seek the advice of an experienced immigration attorney if you are facing any type of criminal charge and have concerns about your immigration status.
How Can an Immigration Attorney Help?
An immigration attorney can help individuals facing criminal charges in a number of ways, including:
- Advising on how the charges may affect your immigration status – An immigration attorney can review the charges and advise on how the charges may affect your ability to remain in the country.
- Negotiating with prosecutors – In some cases, it may be possible for an immigration attorney to negotiate with prosecutors to have the charges reduced or dismissed. This can help protect your immigration status and avoid deportation.
- Representing you in court: An immigration attorney can represent you in court and advocate on your behalf to ensure your rights are protected.
- Advising on options for relief: If you’re facing deportation due to criminal charges, an immigration attorney can advise you on options for relief, such as applying for a waiver or seeking asylum.
- Navigating the immigration process: An immigration attorney can help you navigate the complex immigration process and ensure you’re complying with all relevant laws and regulations.
It is important to seek the advice of an experienced immigration attorney if you are facing criminal charges and have concerns about your immigration status. An attorney can help you understand your rights and options, and advocate on your behalf to protect your ability to remain in the country.
How to Hire the Right Immigration Lawyer
- Research potential lawyers
Look for qualified and experienced immigration lawyers You can search for lawyers online, ask for referrals from friends or family members, or contact your local bar association for a list of immigration lawyers in your area.
- Schedule consultations
Schedule consultations with several potential lawyers. During the consultation, you should be able to discuss your case and ask questions about the lawyer’s experience, approach to cases, and fees.
- Consider the lawyer’s fees
Immigration lawyers may charge different fees for their services, so it is important to consider the cost when making your decision. However, keep in mind that the cheapest lawyer may not always be the best choice, as an experienced and skilled lawyer may be worth the extra cost.
- Consider the lawyer’s communication style
Choose a lawyer who is responsive and communicates clearly. A lawyer who takes the time to explain the legal process to you in a way that you can understand is ideal
Hiring the right immigration lawyer can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. It is crucial to take the time to research and carefully consider your options before making a decision.