If you are a non-citizen and in the United States to work or go to school, you must abide by the same laws as other residents. If you have criminal charges against you, a conviction could impact your immigration status.
The main ways criminal convictions affect your immigration status are by causing your deportation or inadmissibility.
Risk of deportation
If you get convicted of a crime, the government can deport you even if you are lawfully present in the United States on a non-immigrant visa or green card. The Department of Homeland Security considers five categories of criminal convictions to justify removal. These categories are firearm offenses, drug offenses, domestic violence crimes, aggravated crimes and crimes involving moral turpitude. When you get convicted of a crime in one of these categories, the government does not consider other factors such as the length of time you have been in the country or if you have a dependent when deciding to remove you.
Denial of admission
If you have a criminal conviction and are a non-citizen, the government has the authority to deny your re-entry to the United States if you travel out of the country. Criminal convictions causing inadmissibility include drug offenses, crimes of moral turpitude and repeated convictions within five years. The government can also deny your re-entry if you engage in prostitution and drug trafficking activities.
If you face a prosecution for criminal charges as a non-citizen, be sure to get the best possible defense to avoid a negative consequence to your presence in this country.