Crimes Against Children and Your Immigration Status

You would be hard pressed to find a prosecutor or judge in any court of New York City or elsewhere in the State of New York who would be sympathetic to a defendant accused of harming a child. Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Westchester Rockland, Putnam? It makes no difference.

Make no mistake. Your criminal defense attorney will articulate your strongest defense and you in fact may not be guilty of a crime at all. Remember, the law provides you with the presumption of innocence, but if law enforcement – the police and prosecutors – are going to err on the side of caution in favor of an alleged or real victim, when a crime involves minors these are the cases where they will do so. What complicates matters even more? If you are a foreign national – H1B employee, F1 student, green card holder, legal resident – you will have to wrestle with potentially devastating immigration consequences. Deportation? Revocation of status? Future inadmissibility? It is imperative to discuss these issues with your criminal defense attorney who is representing you in criminal court and your immigration counsel should you believe further insight is necessary. The risks of conviction of or pleading to an offense that could wreak havoc to your future is too significant.

Crimes Against Children: What it Means

The Board of Immigration Appeals as well as judges can have a liberal interpretation as to what constitutes child abuse, child neglect or child abandonment. If it is determined that the record and statute for which you were convicted falls within these definitions, then you are deportable.

Crimes Against Children: The New York Penal Law

New York State does not have an offense called “Crimes Against Children”. Instead, certain offenses, when they involve a child, can fall into this category. Some stand out on their face such as Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Others may not be as clear. Further, while some of these offenses may be “merely” misdemeanors punishable by as much as a year in jail, others are felony crimes. These latter offenses may carry mandatory terms of imprisonment and can exceed double digits. Irrespective of the crime charged, remember that it is critical to protect the record and mitigate legally, factually or through some other means your conduct as to limit your exposure to immigration consequences.

The following are crimes that should you be investigated, arrested or indicted, you must take all necessary precautions:

Merely a snapshot into potential crimes that can have permanent implications to your immigration status, the above list is not an exclusive one. Each crime and applicable subsection (where relevant) must be examined. Remember, even if your crime is ultimately not deemed one involving children there may be other grounds immigration authorities may hang their hat. Because an offense may fall into one category, for example a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude or an Aggravated Felony, does not mean it cannot be deemed another. As such, it is critical to not only review a random website or, for that matter, believe you know how to navigate the law and only examine one particular section of criminal offenses and its correlating immigration consequence. Instead, you must consult with your own criminal defense attorney and potentially an immigration lawyer so you can best protect your ability to maintain your career, livelihood, schooling. Alternatively, don’t do so, but you will have nowhere to turn when your ability to freely and legally remain in the United States is compromised.

Take the steps to protect yourself. Let the New York criminal lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at Crotty Saland PC use their experience, knowledge and advocacy to secure your strongest and best defense.

Call the New York criminal lawyers and former New York City prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.

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Let me start by saying how amazing Liz Crotty is! I am a resident of California, who needed representation for my son who received a desk citation while he was visiting NYC. Liz jumped on the case right away; she was very thorough in explaining things to me. She is strictly business too! She went to court on my son's behalf and had his case dismissed. I am forever grateful to her. Seana G.
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