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International students may face deportation after arrest

For any college student, getting arrested can potentially put their education at risk. For students from other countries and studying in the U.S., it could mean getting kicked out of the country.

Most American universities welcome significant populations of international students, and Michigan State University is no exception. Nearly 10 percent of MSU’s student body comes from China alone. Most of these students are here on a student visa or have green card status.

These documents granting permission to study and/or work in the U.S. may be threatened after arrest. An international student charged with things like driving under the influence, drug possession, assault and battery and so on, could lead authorities to revoke the student’s immigration status, and force him or her to leave the country. Even if the student is allowed to remain, his or her ability to apply for graduate programs can be hampered.

Language and lack of familiarity with Michigan’s criminal justice system can complicate matters. The accused student may not fully understand what is going on during a police interrogation. Without the help of a criminal defense attorney, they may be especially vulnerable to police tactics.

This makes having a defense attorney on your side all the more important. An experienced attorney can help reduce the imbalance of power police officers enjoy against an arrested student. Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible to get the charges dropped or reduced to civil infractions, keeping the student’s criminal or traffic record clean and allowing them to stay in this country.

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