7 Things to Do If You are a Non-US Citizen Facing Criminal Charges

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For non-U.S. citizens facing criminal charges in the United States, it is essential to understand the potential consequences of a conviction. Depending on the crime’s severity and immigration status, you could face deportation, detention, or other penalties.

Steps to take for a non-U.S. citizen accused of a crime:


Hire a criminal immigration attorney

When accused of a crime as a non-U.S. citizen, you must hire a criminal immigration lawyer to represent you. The U.S. legal system can be complex and confusing, and without an attorney, you may not be able to understand and exercise your rights entirely. When accused of a crime, it is essential to have an attorney who knows the law and has experience handling similar cases. You will have the best chance of winning your case with the right lawyer.


Understand the allegations against you

It would be best if you comprehend the actual charges against you and the potential consequences of a verdict. Depending on the severity of the crime and immigration status, you could face a lengthy prison sentence, a fine, or both.


Consider negotiating a settlement agreement

Depending on your case, a settlement agreement might be in your best interests. A settlement agreement is an arrangement between a defendant and prosecutor in which the defendant agrees to confess to a specific charge in exchange for certain concessions from the prosecutor. 


Cooperate with your defense attorney

Your defense attorney will rely on you to provide information about the case, and you should cooperate with investigators and prosecutors. You must keep your attorney informed of any developments in the case and comply with all requests for information. If you do not cooperate with your attorney, it could jeopardize your defense.


Be prepared for trial

If you decide to go to trial, you must be prepared. This includes being aware of the accusations against you and the supporting material that will be used in court. You should also be prepared to testify on your behalf if you choose to do so. Your attorney will help you prepare for trial, but your responsibility is ultimate to be ready.


Keep in mind that the decision of whether or not to go to trial is yours alone

You are the final arbiter of whether or not to go to trial and no one else. Your attorney can guide you on what to do next, but the final decision is yours. If you have any questions or concerns, you should discuss them with your attorney.


Appealing a conviction

You have the legal right to appeal a conviction if you are found guilty of one. An appeal is a review by a higher court to determine whether any errors in the trial resulted in an unfair verdict. If you decide to appeal your sentence, you should contact an attorney to assess your chances of success and the potential consequences of an appeal.


A criminal defense attorney will guide you through the justice system and safeguard your privileges. Contact an attorney today to discuss your case if you face criminal charges.