Attorney Eric D. Puryear

Federal Voting by Aliens Charges

Puryear Law » Legal Blog » Federal Criminal Law » Federal Voting by Aliens Charges

The Federal crime of Voting by Aliens is defined by 18 U.S.C. § 611 as follows:


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(a) It shall be unlawful for any alien to vote in any election held solely or in part for the purpose of electing a candidate for the office of President, Vice President, Presidential elector, Member of the Senate, Member of the House of Representatives, Delegate from the District of Columbia, or Resident Commissioner, unless—
(1) the election is held partly for some other purpose;
(2) aliens are authorized to vote for such other purpose under a State constitution or statute or a local ordinance; and
(3) voting for such other purpose is conducted independently of voting for a candidate for such Federal offices, in such a manner that an alien has the opportunity to vote for such other purpose, but not an opportunity to vote for a candidate for any one or more of such Federal offices.

(b) Any person who violates this section shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

(c) Subsection (a) does not apply to an alien if—
(1) each natural parent of the alien (or, in the case of an adopted alien, each adoptive parent of the alien) is or was a citizen (whether by birth or naturalization);
(2) the alien permanently resided in the United States prior to attaining the age of 16; and
(3) the alien reasonably believed at the time of voting in violation of such subsection that he or she was a citizen of the United States.


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A person who is convicted of the Federal crime of Voting by Aliens faces up to a year in jail. Such a conviction can also have significant negative immigration consequences, which may be of more concern to the person than the actual conviction itself.

Anyone facing a Voting by Aliens charge is well advised to exercise their right to remain silent and seek an attorney at once.


The attorneys at Puryear Law are ready to put our skill to work on your case. Consult with us today.


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