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Q. “Can I be deported even if I’m in this country legally, just because I’m arrested and not convicted for a small amount of marijuana, a misdemeanor simple possession, not even a felony?” A. “Yes, and here is why,” says Florida criminal defense lawyer John M. Castellano:

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The Feds don’t care anymore whether you’re “convicted” or not — and they don’t care anymore if it’s ONLY a “misdemeanor” small “personal use” amount of marijuana; they’re initiating deportation proceedings either way these days! I may not be as renowned as a Ft. Lauderdale or federal immigration attorney — as most folks know me as a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer and Florida criminal lawyer, BUT I do know enough about immigration laws these days (as they relate to criminal defense statutes) only because I have no choice!

It used to be that you had to be “adjudicated” (fancy word in the courts for “convicted”) on a felony charge before the INS and the Feds would come after you; but not anymore.

Now, even if “adjudication” is “withheld” (meaning, you’re NOT convicted in State court), the INS and the United States Government considers a “withheld” to be a “conviction” today for INS purposes! AND worse yet, they now consider the small misdemeanor “personal use” amount of marijuana to be enough — no longer requiring allegations of “sale” or “attempted sale or delivery” before coming after you, and they no longer require you to be arrested on a “felony” possession amount before initiating deportation proceedings, as they NOW consider ANY drug offense to be a “crime of moral turpitude,” invoking deportation criteria and proceedings.

The same is now true as to “petit” theft (an amount of money or the value of the merchandise, LESS than $300) as opposed to “Grand Theft” (over $300) … The INS and the United States Government Feds come after you just as aggressively on the “misdemeanor” offense of “Petit Theft,” considering ANY theft charge to be a “crime of moral turpitude,” subjecting you these days to deportation proceedings. Either way, you need a good and caring advocate, a Florida criminal defense lawyer if you’re arrested in Florida. I’ll be more than glad to help you or your family and friends, anytime you have any questions. Please feel free to call me @ 954 766 8810. I am,

Always there for you and your family,

John Castellano

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About the Author:

John M. Castellano is a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney who has helped thousands of clients throughout Florida. While building a reputation as a premiere Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney, Mr. Castellano has worked tirelessly to develop strategies to best protect the rights of those arrested for DUI in Broward, Dade and West Palm. However, Mr. Castellano is not just a drunk driving lawyer. He has been a successful domestic violence attorney, drug trafficking attorney, as well as all other Felony and Misdemeanor cases.

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