In the State of California, being charged with domestic violence is a serious matter and can be highly disruptive to your life—no matter who you are. But if you happen to be a foreign national (i.e., a non-U.S. citizen), charged with domestic battery, criminal threats, or another form of domestic violence, the stakes may be much higher. A domestic violence conviction can have significant negative repercussions on your immigration status, resulting in your deportation, denial of re-entry into the United States, or exclusion from naturalization (i.e., the process of becoming a U.S. citizen). And even if you are not convicted, simply being arrested for domestic violence can trigger an investigation by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and potentially lead to your removal from the country.
If you are a foreign national facing domestic violence charges, it is important to understand how these charges may impact your immigration status and to consult with an experienced defense attorney who can help you navigate the complex intersection of U.S. immigration and criminal law. Let’s discuss the laws that address domestic violence when it comes to non-citizens and talk about how to protect your interests if you’re a non-citizen facing these charges.