Drug violations may trigger detention, deportation

Drug violations often lead to serious consequences, but if you are a non-U.S. citizen and you receive a drug conviction, it may lead to detention or deportation. This holds true regardless of whether you are in the United States under legal means, and it may result in you having to return to your home country, even if you lack family, housing or employment opportunities there. 

According to the Drug Policy Alliance, deportations resulting from drug violations are on the rise. 

Deportation statistics 

Between 2007 and 2012, there was a 43% increase in the number of individuals deported to their home countries after authorities found them possessing drugs. Also, since 2007, more than 250,000 offenders underwent deportation for drug violations, among them drug possession, drug sales and similar offenses. 

Marijuana possession also leads to thousands of deportations every year. In 2013, marijuana possession was the most common cause of drug-related deportation. Between 2012 and 2013, more than 13,000 noncitizens underwent deportation for possessing a personal amount of marijuana. 

Reentry into the United States 

If the United States deports you to your home nation following a drug violation, you may not be able to reenter the United States for a predetermined amount of time. Many noncitizens find themselves permanently banned from ever reentering the United States after undergoing deportation due to a drug charge. 

If you are facing a drug charge and have fears about getting by in your country of origin, you may want to take your case to court. The same holds true if returning to your home nation would separate you from your family.