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Suspended Term of Imprisonment

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  • Suspended Term of Imprisonment

    I was interested to know how states sentence defendants when it comes to various options, and as to how from the federal immigration standpoint these same sentences are interpreted. Specifically, what constitutes a suspended term of imprisonment and to its relation to dispositions like probation or court supervision.

    For instance, in case a sentence of imprisonment is not ordered to be fully served in incarceration, what happens? It is considered to be wholly suspended with probation, or the Judge can even split it - with an unsuspended portion of the sentence to be served in incarceration, followed by a period of probation?

    Would appreciate your opinions.

  • #2
    I was interested to know how states sentence defendants when it comes to various options, and as to how from the federal immigration standpoint these same sentences are interpreted. Specifically, what constitutes a suspended term of imprisonment and to its relation to dispositions like probation or court supervision.

    For instance, in case a sentence of imprisonment is not ordered to be fully served in incarceration, what happens? It is considered to be wholly suspended with probation, or the Judge can even split it - with an unsuspended portion of the sentence to be served in incarceration, followed by a period of probation?

    Would appreciate your opinions.

    Comment


    • #3
      It's a very good question because states punish the same crime(s) differently. Some on this board forget that's the case and that there isn't always a blanket rule. It may even go so far as to show a certain crime as a misdemeanor in one state and a felony in the other. That's why it's important to know what the crime was and the state where it was committed. Also what the sentencing was (even if suspended)... so you may want to add more information to your question.

      Comment


      • #4
        oh there is another hello here lol

        Comment


        • #5
          Most of the states clearly state what is the period of imprisonment that is suspended, what is the probation period and so on. There are other states though that give custody sentences that are suspended, wholly or on part, and the defendant is placed on probation. One has to draw a fine line of distinction between what is straight probation without any suspended term of imprisonment and what is probation "in lieu of" custody time.

          Comment


          • #6
            Would an immigration officer be able to figure this out for him/herself or an alien is better off bringing with him/herself a letter from a criminal attorney explaing this very issue? That's the question that is most crucial to be answered here.

            Comment


            • #7
              I think this alien would have to go to the immigration officer accompanied by an immigration attorney who specializes in criminal law.

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              • #8
                An immigration officer knows criminal law. It's part of his or her responsibility to make a determination about you. He would probably ask you to provide the order of the criminal judge, so it's up to you if you want a lawyer with you.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Casey,

                  Depends on the state. I read some time ago, for instance, that a Ghana national who had entered the United States as an B-1 business visitor was convicted a year later of an misdemeanor offense
                  of battery in Virginia, being sentenced to 12 months of confinement with imposition of the sentence suspended, and he was placed on probation
                  for 12 months.

                  After 6 months (during those 6 months he was on deportation proceedings) the alien was served with a "Notice of Intent to Issue Final Administrative Removal Order," which explained his rights to contest the 'removal order'. He did not submit any documents rebutting the charges, so the INS issued a Final administrative Removal Order for his deportation from the United States on the grounds that he was an alien who had been convicted of an aggravated felony and thus was deportable pursuant to 8 U.S.C. § 1227(a)(2)(A)(iii) -- taken into INS custody, then deported.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Wow, a midemeanor battery offense treated as an aggravated felony!!! Man, do these laws mean something for poor immigrants!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Not in all states batteries/misdemeanors would trigger deportation from the INS's part. For instance a man in Alabama was convicted of misdemeanor assault and sentenced to a 30-day jail term, which the trial court immediately suspended, placing him on 2 years of unsupervised probation. Here the suspended term of imprisonment is clearly only 30 days, regarless of the probation period of 2 years. Understandably it cannot make the alien deportable since INS could not fit the misdemeanor assault into the caregory of "crimes of violence"/"aggravated felony" for which a custody term of 1-year is imposed that would render the alien deportable.

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                      • #12
                        Immigration laws are mandated by the federal (U.S) government, not state government.
                        Each state may handle crimes against the state, or crimes against county or municipality differently. When addressing the breaking of federal immigration law, it is the federal court which defines and administers penalties, not the state.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Are U a lawyer, Anon., so that we can believe yo? If so, tell us so, and let's suspend all these boards...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I love to see Anon right, and deport aliens as per Virginia's example. Criminal aliens should be deported, at least citizens feel this way they have an advantage in comparison to immigrants when not being sent to some hell even if they do crimes.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              technically the actual or suspension or "time served" doesn't matter. What matters for immigration purposes is the maximum possible sentence that can be imposed on a certain crime. If there are any discrepancies, INS may use federal guidelines. As a "thumb of rule" it means:

                              - for absolute removability and inadmissability, there needs to be a confirmed "conviction" (what may not qualify as a conviction for a citizen (plea bargains with noles for instance are fequently not considered convictions in state courts. Is may very well be a conviction for an alien)
                              - anything that may be punished by 365 and + days (detaintion, community service, supervision, parole and what have you included) is an aggravated felony for immigration purposes, even if it is not considered an aggravated felony in the state.
                              - anything that is being charged and convicted as an aggra fel in the state is automatically such for federal purposes as well.
                              - certain charges + conviction do not matter if they're misdemeanor or felonies, they reender the alien immediatly removable upon conviction regardless (and time accruel for chancelation purposes stops) - such as drug convictions.

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