|Non-U.S. citizens who are charged with a federal white-collar crime in the United States may face various legal and immigration consequences. Here are some possible outcomes:
1. Criminal Proceedings: Non-U.S. citizens are subject to the same criminal proceedings as U.S. citizens when charged with a federal white-collar crime. They have the right to legal representation, the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, and the opportunity to present a defense.
2. Penalties and Sentencing: If found guilty, non-U.S. citizens can face penalties such as fines, restitution, probation, or imprisonment depending on the type and severity of the crime committed. The penalties imposed are determined by the judge, taking into account various factors, including the individual’s criminal history, the extent of the offense, and any mitigating or aggravating circumstances.
3. Immigration Consequences: Non-U.S. citizens charged with a federal white-collar crime may also face immigration consequences, which can vary depending on their immigration status and the specific crime involved. Here are some possible scenarios based on an individual’s status:
Ø Non-Immigrant Visa Holders: Non-U.S. citizens with temporary non-immigrant visas, such as work visas (e.g., H-1B) or student visas (e.g., F-1), may face visa revocation or denial of visa renewal if convicted of a serious crime. They could be subject to removal (deportation) proceedings and may be barred from reentering the United States.
Ø Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR’s / Green Card holders): Lawful Permanent Residents who are convicted of a federal white-collar crime may face deportation proceedings and potential loss of their LPR status. The severity of the offense and the individual’s criminal history are factors considered in deportation decisions.
Ø Undocumented Immigrants: Undocumented immigrants charged with a federal white-collar crime face a risk of deportation and other immigration consequences, as these individuals are already in violation of immigration laws and can be detained, placed in removal proceedings, and potentially barred from reentering the United States.
Ø Naturalized U.S. Citizens: Naturalized U.S. citizens generally cannot be deported based solely on a criminal conviction. However, if a federal white-collar crime involves charges of undermining the naturalization process, such as fraud, the U.S. government may initiate denaturalization proceedings.
4. Designation and Program Eligibility: When a foreign national or other non-US citizen is incarcerated in a federal facility, they cannot be placed in a camp due to their immigration status and possible detainer. They are usually going to be held in a low-security prison, of which there are only a few which are more suitable for white collar offenders. Also, programs such as RDAP are not available for a reduced sentence due to the existing detainer.
5. Time of Incarceration: Non-US Citizens are eligible to receive Earned Time Credits and other First Step Act provisions leading to a reduced time of incarceration, however this will simply lead to a quicker deportation period once the sentence is completed.
It’s important to note that immigration consequences can be complex and depend on multiple factors, most notably the type of crime and your immigration status. It is recommended that individuals consult with an experienced immigration attorney to understand the potential impacts of a white collar sentence.
We have extensive experience in helping foreign nationals and other non-US citizens going through the federal criminal system, including those currently in the US and those still residing overseas and trying to negotiate their return to the US in the most reasonable and comfortable manner. We also work with attorneys who specialize in this area of the law.