For many people who enter the United States as immigrants, the primary goal is to eventually secure their Permanent Resident Card – commonly known as a “green card.” This card can provide immigrants with the right to stay in the U.S. legally for the rest of their lives. If you have a green card, you do not need a visa to work, own a business or rent property.

While green card holders may not have the full rights of an American citizen, in the eyes of many people, securing a green card means they will be able to stay in the U.S. for the rest of their lives. However, it is still possible for permanent residents with valid green cards to get deported from the U.S., especially if they are charged with criminal offenses.

Criminal convictions and even tax issues can hurt your status as a permanent resident

Individuals who are convicted of a crime in the U.S. as non-citizens are subject to potential deportation because of that conviction. If the offense you are convicted of is considered to be a crime of moral turpitude, even a misdemeanor offense could potentially result in your deportation from the country.

As a permanent resident, your ability to live in the U.S. is contingent upon you complying with the law. Getting into criminal trouble, as well as misrepresenting yourself as a non-immigrant, could potentially result in the loss of your permanent resident status and deportation.  Defending yourself against criminal charges as a permanent resident is critical. An experienced attorney can provide valuable guidance and work to protect your rights.