Immigration Consequences of Arrest and Conviction NYC

If you are not a US citizen and you’ve been arrested and charged with a crime, the outcome of that may can potentially have a serious impact on your immigration status. It is therefore imperative that your criminal defense attorney fight to get the best outcome in criminal court. It is also imperative that you seek advice from an immigration attorney who can advise you and your defense attorney on the potential immigration consequences of your criminal case.

Being arrested generally happens when you are taken into custody by the police and charged with an offense. An arrest includes receiving a desk appearance ticket or being taken directly to central booking. The immigration consequences of an arrest begin almost immediately because your information is sent to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) during processing. Thus, DHS – which includes U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement - will know about your arrest soon after it happens.

Whether you are present in the U.S. on a visitor’s visa, working here on an employment visa such as an H-1B or and O-1B visa, or are lawful permanent resident (green card holder) an arrest has potential consequences on your immigration status. These consequences can range from being interrogated at the airport, being ordered to deferred inspection for questioning, being denied entry to the US, having your visa revoked and being placed in removal (deportation) proceedings.

It is important to understand that any non-citizen will face immigration problems if he or she is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT) or an aggravated felony. In some cases even if the immigration authorities have reason to believe that you have engaged in criminal conduct, a noncitizen can face serious immigration consequences even if the criminal case gets reduced or dismissed. A CIMT can include relatively minor offenses such as theft and drug possession, and can include many other types of offenses, whether misdemeanor and felony.

Virtually all controlled substance offenses have immigration consequences, including possession of small amounts of “party drugs” such as cocaine or ecstasy.

In general, there might be immigration consequences if you were

  • Arrested but your case dismissed
  • Arrested and you received an ACD (Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal C.P.L. 170.55 or 170.56)

In general, there could be more serious immigration consequences if you were

  • Convicted of a misdemeanor
  • Convicted of a felony
  • Admitted to a misdemeanor or felony in court

Even an arrest for a relatively minor violation such as disorderly conduct will subject you to increased scrutiny by immigration officials during inspection at airports and visa interviews. Often, the immigration consequences of a criminal conviction are far more severe than the criminal punishment itself.

Preparation is the best defense. Going to court with an experienced criminal defense attorney is the best way to get the optimal outcome in your criminal case. Getting the best outcome in criminal court will help to reduce the risk of immigration problems later. By getting the following information, you will put yourself in the best position possible to avoid serious immigration problems later:

Step 1.

Contact an experienced New York City criminal defense attorney to get the best outcome possible in your criminal case. A criminal attorney who works with an immigration attorney can offer you a better overall defense. Contact us for a Evaluation evaluation. Lance Fletcher, a NYC Criminal Defense Attorney and Kevin Jones, an experienced NYC Immigration Attorney, can work together to fight any possible immigration consequences. Kevin Jones has over 20 years of experience advising non-citizens who have been arrested for various offenses including violations, misdemeanors, and felonies.

Step 2.

Review the following chart to get a summary of things you should be doing to minimize potential problems.

Status of criminal case

Tourist B Visa

Student F Visa

Other Visa

Green Card

Arrested but case still open

Get best possible outcome in court, Get certified case documents, letter from immigration lawyer

Get best possible outcome in court, Get certified case documents, letter from immigration lawyer

Get best possible outcome in court, Get certified case documents, letter from immigration lawyer

Get best possible outcome in criminal court, Get certified case documents, letter from immigration lawyer

Case closed, convicted of a violation (like disorderly conduct PL 240.20)

Get certified criminal case documents, letter from immigration lawyer

Get certified case documents, letter from immigration lawyer

Get certified case documents, letter from immigration lawyer

Get certified case documents, letter from immigration lawyer

Case closed, convicted of a misdemeanor

Speak with an immigration attorney right away

Speak with an immigration attorney right away

Speak with an immigration attorney right away

Get certified case documents, letter from immigration lawyer

Case closed, convicted of a felony

Speak with an immigration attorney right away

Speak with an immigration attorney right away

Speak with an immigration attorney right away

Speak with an immigration attorney right away

Contact us at 212-619-3900 for help with getting your certified case documents, police records, and written advice for use at the airport or with an immigration application.

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