Most residents of the Houston area are living in the United States as permanent legal residents, meaning they have permission to live and work in the United States indefinitely.
In many respects, their daily lives are the same as that of citizens. However, unlike citizens, permanent residents can still face deportation if they get convicted of certain crimes.
Drug charges can lead to deportation
For example, many drug crimes can be grounds for deportation. There is an exception for a person caught only one time with less than 30 grams of marijuana, provided the marijuana was for personal use.
It is also worth pointing out that if a permanent resident has a history showing she abuses drugs or alcohol, including a track record of drunk or drugged driving, public intoxication and the like can be grounds for deportation.
Other offense can also lead to deportation
In addition to drug crimes, there are several other types of crimes that can lead to deportation.
Among other examples, many felonies are deportable offenses.
Likewise, offenses related to domestic violence, including violations of protection orders, can lead to deportation. This is true even if the person has no prior criminal history and was not convicted of a felony.
Finally, the United States immigration laws include a broad catch-all for crimes of moral turpitude, which itself is a very vague and hard to understand term.
Many crimes that involve a sentence of at least a year can be crimes of moral turpitude. A resident who commits a crime of moral turpitude early in his residency – 5 years in most cases – or who commits more than one crime of moral turpitude can be deported.
Those who lives on the Texas Gulf Coast as permanent legal residents will want to know all of their defense options before accepting a criminal conviction.