Pop singer Justin Bieber was recently arrested in Miami Beach on suspicion of drunk driving, resisting arrest, and driving without a valid license. On the face of it, it seems like this would be a simple case for a local criminal court, but some have questioned whether Bieber, who is an O-1 visa-carrying Canadian national, will also be looking at federal immigration issues if he is convicted on any of these charges.
A petition that garnered more than 100,000 signatures was sent to the White House demanding Bieber’s deportation. By law, the White House must now officially respond to the petition. But how likely is it that the pop singer will actually be kicked out of the United States if he is convicted on any of these charges?
That’s up to how prosecutors treat his alleged crimes.
Because Bieber is in the U.S. on an O-1 visa, he is subject to different rules than other immigrants. In these instances, a crime that affects his immigrant status does not have to be a felony, but rather one that involves “moral turpitude.” This is a vaguely defined grey area in immigration law, but essentially means conduct that violates common standard of good morals.
Since Bieber already carries a visa, a re-evaluation of his visa status may be considered if prosecutors deem his alleged criminal actions as involving moral turpitude. While Bieber is currently living in California, he travels across the world as a musician. As such, he may not be deported from the country, but rather be refused entry by border agents.
That being said, the waters are still murky in Bieber’s case. He faces potential felony vandalism charges in California for an alleged egging incident and he has also been charged with assault in an incident in Toronto. These possible multiple convictions on misdemeanors could lead to immigration woes.
While criminal convictions may not result in an immediate danger of visa revocation or deportation, Bieber could potentially find it harder to get into the United States after traveling and may run into some problems when trying to renew his visa.
If you are facing a criminal charge and are not a U.S. citizen, you may find yourself in a situation where your immigration status is compromised. The law firm of Lubiner, Schmidt & Palumbo, LLC not only provides representation in the area of criminal defense, but we also handle immigration cases.
Our attorneys are prepared, in either case, to defend your legal rights. Contact us online or call us at (888) 847-2529 today to learn how we can help you.