New York Criminal Arrests and Convictions: Immigration Consequences

Crimes – both arrests and convictions – have consequences. Although the criminal defense attorneys and former prosecutors at Crotty Saland PC have lectured to and taught consular staff of numerous nations about New York State and Federal criminal laws, you don’t need a criminal defense attorney or criminal lawyer to tell you all actions have consequences. Some ramifications for violating the New York Penal Law are nominal. Maybe you get a violation or an ACD. As a result, you have to complete community service or pay a small fine. Other implications of an arrest or conviction are much greater – significantly so. More specifically, if you are convicted of a crime you will be tarnished with a permanent criminal record and could end up incarcerated. For a misdemeanor a jail sentence can be as long as one year and for a felony it could be decades or even greater depending on the severity or degree of the criminal conviction.

While these issues of a conviction or arrest should be obvious, what if you are in New York or elsewhere in the United States working with an H1B Visa or studying in college with an F1 Visa? What happens then if you are arrested or charged with a crime? Even worse, what will happen to your immigration status if you are convicted of a violation, misdemeanor or felony? Can you be deported? Can you be rendered inadmissible? What will happen to your naturalization process? How will you leave to visit family or, if you are merely on vacation in New York, how will you come back for your court date once you have already left? Those who are students may be left wondering whether they can complete their studies. Simply, if you are a foreign national in New York and you are arrested for or convicted of a crime there are many concerns that must be addressed when determining how to resolve your criminal case in conjunction with your current or future immigration status. Do not make a mistake that can hamper or destroy your ability to work, visit, study, live or become a resident of the United Sates because you were misinformed or improperly advised.

Regardless of the crime for which you were arrested by the New York City Police Department (NYPD) or any other New York State based law enforcement agency, a red flag can be raised, and often will be raised, as it relates to your immigration status. The crimes that are the greatest concern include those of moral turpitude, aggravated felonies, controlled substances or drugs, offenses against children, domestic violence, firearm crimes and prostitution offenses. Having said that, an arrest in no way means you are guilty. It is always the prosecution’s burden to prove your case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Remember, you should always be aware of certain factors regardless of the ultimate outcome. For example, on the record and in the courtroom, any plea should include the fact that you have discussed immigration consequences with your attorney and that you understand that neither a New York State Judge nor your criminal lawyer can control what, if anything, the Federal Government may do in your particular case whether that is deportation, future inadmissibility, etc. If you are unsure or unclear of these consequences, you should not be afraid to state so on the record in open court or ask your counsel for more time to explain. Further, you should keep in mind that even if the resolution of your case is non-criminal, it can still be relevant or require addressing when it comes time to file or renew your status.

Make no mistake. The Federal Government does not care if you are completing your medical residency, beginning your undergraduate studies, working on Wall Street and you are from Australia, India, The People’s Republic of China, Germany or Brazil. Whether you receive a Desk Appearance Ticket in Manhattan for shoplifting and you are accused of PL 155.25, you are arrested in Brooklyn for cocaine or molly and accused of PL 220.03 or you are indicted in Queens for having a fake identification and you are accused of PL 170.25, any misdemeanor or felony can have life altering consequences. Be smart. Be safe. Be cautious. Be your own advocate. If you fail to properly handle your criminal case you should expect the consequences to extend well beyond the courtroom.

Review the types of offenses through the links listed above and see where your arrest and potential conviction may fall. Read up on the particular crime or crimes you face in a New York criminal court as addressed throughout this and other Crotty Saland PC websites and blogs. Consult with your criminal lawyer and, if desired, an immigration attorney to protect your liberty and future. Understand the process and investigate your options.

Don’t let one mistake ruin your life. Instead, let Crotty Saland PC’s experience, knowledge and advocacy be your guide through the criminal justice system.

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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