From Detained to Deported: Small Charges and Their Consequences
Plea deals are one of those rare terms that most people hear from Law and Order and they generally understand. Most individuals, if faced with a charge, take a plea deal for the benefits put forth under the deal. There is no great way to define the benefits granted under a plea since they are unique to each and every plea agreement. Some may only require rehabilitative classes and others may in fact require that the individual actually plead guilty to a lesser charge than the original charge. While this may sound like an attractive option at first, it is not always the best.
Misdemeanor Translating to Deportation
Immigration law, although it does not always apply, is actually quite important in this context. A criminal conviction could result in the deportation of an individual. Although you might think this is only true of felony charges, even a misdemeanor, depending on the charge, may put someone in danger of deportation. Take for example Arnold Giammarco. According to the Hartford Courant, Giammarco is a 61-year-old man who was recently deported to Campo di Frano Italy in 2012. The reason for his deportation included three misdemeanor charges, one being drug possession, from 10 years earlier. Here, these misdemeanor charges took a husband away from his wife and a father away from his children. The article also mentioned Avinash Samarth, a student representing Giammarco in his legal proceedings. Samarth suggests that if individuals are aware of the consequences pleading to criminal charges may bring with them, then pleas can be fashioned in a way so as to not trigger such harsh penalties.
Employment Implications of Convictions
Of course, immigrants are not the only individuals who should be concerned with so called “minor” charges. At the time you are arrested your main concerns are the immediate effects that charges hold over you. These typically include the jail time linked to the charge, any fines a judge might impose, and other types of punishment (i.e. required classes or community service hours). Although these are absolutely important, few people consider the employment implications made by convictions. According to an article on the Office of Justice Programs’ website, almost one-third of Americans are arrested by the time they are 23. This statistic is startling given the fact most people with arrest records face increased difficulties in obtaining employment. The article goes on to say that an arrest record can reduce the likelihood of a job offer and/or callback by approximately 50%.
Although an arrest does not always result in a conviction, a conviction would certainly be another bar to employment. Many applications for employment often call for people to disclose any criminal convictions, which puts them into a difficult position. On one hand, a person might be tempted to lie on an application for fear of not getting a job based on a conviction. On the other hand that same person could very well be fired for lying on their application. These choices can make life very difficult for anyone who has entered a plea.
Retaining Legal Counsel
If you are arrested and charged with a crime, no matter how minor, you should retain legal counsel. Although you might be presented with an immediate option to plea and end the process that is already started, this still might not be the best option for you. A conviction, even on a lesser charge, may present implications far reaching into your future. This is why you need the counsel of an experienced criminal defense attorney like Phillip J. Murphy. Phillip J. Murphy is licensed to practice in New York and has been practicing law since 1989. Call today to discuss your case.