A resident of the Jackson area probably can recognize that even relatively minor criminal drug offenses, where lengthy sentence is off the table, are still very serious affairs.
Probation is both burdensome and expensive, and a person may have to pay fines, fees, and other costs.
Moreover, criminal drug convictions can have severe personal and professional consequences that can last for years or even decades.
Serious enough drug crimes will almost inevitably mean deportation
For a non-citizen, even if she has status as a permanent resident, can face deportation for certain drug offenses that federal law considers serious.
The scary thing is that what is serious in the eyes of federal authorities may be a first-time offense, which the Mississippi courts could treat with a relatively light punishment.
For instance, any drug trafficking offense, including possession with the intent to distribute drugs, calls for deportation. Only a few defenses are available.
Even minor drug offenses can lead to deportation
However, although some defenses may be available, deportation is a possibility for the possession of any controlled substance except for small amounts of marijuana. This is true even if the person accused had no intention of selling or trading drugs.
Likewise, offenses that are commonly related to the drug trade, including certain types of fraud or theft, can lead to deportation. Even those who have a record which demonstrates a struggle with a drug addiction can be grounds for deporting an immigrant, although defenses may be available.
In short, a non-citizen should take any criminal charge, but especially one that is in any way connected to drugs, with the utmost seriousness.