ICE Holds Involving Drug Possession in Tulsa


ICE holds involving drug possession in Tulsa can have crippling effects on your family. If you’re not a U.S. citizen and suffer an arrest for a criminal offense, the potential consequences for you can be particularly devastating.  Many times the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency will place an ICE hold on those under arrest and have no documentation that they are legally present in the U.S. or that receive conviction of crimes for which subjects one to deportation or excludes them from re-entry.

ICE Holds Involving Drug Possession in Tulsa | Kania Law OfficeHowever, a recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court provides clarification of the law and good news to legal immigrants.  Particularly for those arrested for possession and charged with small quantities of marijuana.

US Supreme Court Opinions:

A legal immigrant from Jamaica received charges of possession and intent to distribute 1.3 grams of marijuana.  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that possession of a small quantity of marijuana by a legal immigrant was not grounds for mandatory removal.  Immigration officials can seek to have someone deported for certain criminal convictions, which includes aggravated felonies.  The court ruled that simple possession of marijuana is not an aggravated felony under federal law.

According to the majority opinion written by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, conviction of possession of marijuana charges does not constitute an aggravated felony unless there is specific evidence that the accused is trying to make money or there is a more substantial quantity of cannabis involved in the offense.  The majority did not rule that a legal immigrant could not receive deportation for marijuana possession in this situation.  But the opinion indicated that it did not expose the legal immigrant to the harsh consequences of an aggravated felony.

Tulsa Drug Possession Charges and Removal:

Although the government could still seek removal, the legal immigrant may challenge such action in immigration proceedings.  “Escaping aggravated felony treatment does not mean escaping deportation,” wrote Justice Sotomayor.

In other words, a defendant convicted under state law for marijuana-related charges may have a right to contest removal.  While the person may still be subject to an ICE hold, he or she will not necessarily get deportation.  This is if the legal immigrant seeks prompt legal representation to fight removal proceedings.

Our Oklahoma criminal Attorneys can help you with ICE Holds Involving Drug Possession in Tulsa. The impact of an ICE hold can be devistating. We care about your criminal case and want to help you

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