For an immigrant, an arrest in New Jersey can be more than just a simple criminal complaint and trial. There might be issues related to status for staying in the United States and their residency may be compromised due to the alleged criminal offense that led to the arrest. If arrested and/or convicted of certain crimes in New Jersey, the person runs the risk of being deported.
Two United States laws—the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRAIRA) list the offenses allowing the deportation of a green card holder (a permanent resident), a visa holder, and an illegal immigrant.
The most frequent reason proffered for deporting an immigrant is the arrest of the person and a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer. If the conviction is discovered by these authorities when the person applies for a change in status, seeks immigration benefits, or reenters the country, the person can be deported. A change in status might be renewing a visa, adjusting status, or being issued a green card.
Crimes that can Result in Deportation
The following are a list of crimes (misdemeanors and felonies) that can lead to an immigrant being deported.
- Aggravated felony: This can result in criminal deportation if it involves murder, rape or sexual abuse of a minor; trafficking of controlled dangerous substances (CDS); trafficking of explosives, firearms or destructive devices; laundering money in an amount over $10,000; committing an offense with explosives or firearms; violent crimes with a punishment of at least a year; child pornography; a crime for ransom; gambling or racketeering; involvement in prostitution in any capacity; forging, counterfeiting or altering a passport; illegal reentry into the U.S.; failing to appear to serve a sentence of 5 or more years; intelligence violations; perjury, obstruction of justice or bribery; failure to appear connected with a felony of 2 years or more; conspiracy in any of the listed offenses.
- Moral turpitude: If someone commits a crime of moral turpitude within 5 years of U.S. admission, it can impact a non-citizen’s ability to remain in the U.S. A crime of moral turpitude is defined as a crime that encompasses a base or vile act.
- Multiple criminal convictions: If convicted of two or more crimes that involve moral turpitude, the individual can be deported. It’s similar to moral turpitude, but requires multiple crimes and not a single conviction.
- Drug conviction: Apart from a single offense of simple possession of marijuana of 30 grams or less, a drug conviction under state, U.S. or foreign law of controlled substances can result in deportation.
- Firearms violations: Purchasing, selling, carrying, possessing, owning or trying to sell a firearm is a deportable offense.
Options for an Immigrant Arrested in New Jersey and Facing Deportation
An immigrant convicted of a crime in New Jersey and facing the prospect of being deported for that crime does have options. For example, he or she can apply for what is known as post-conviction relief. This is done to vacate the conviction and avoid any consequences such as deportation for that conviction.
Customs, ICE and Homeland Security detainers can result in deportation. “Detainer” refers to holding or incarcerating. If the charges are successfully defended against, it is possible to receive relief from a detainer. The individual can receive what is known as an immigration bond, similar to bail.
Inadmissibility consequences can prevent an immigrant from reentering the United States if there is reason to do so. If the person enters the country legally, commits a crime and is convicted, the person might not be granted readmission to the U.S.
Contact an Attorney for Deportation Issues
If you or a loved one is an immigrant facing the potential of deportation due to any of the above-listed factors, such as committing a crime or being accused of a crime, you still have legal rights. The law firm of Villani & DeLuca has experience in helping clients who are confronted with the prospect of being deported due to being accused of committing a crime in New Jersey.
Villani & DeLuca, located in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, has dedicated lawyers with knowledge of all aspects of New Jersey law. Whether you’re from Brick, Asbury Park or Point Pleasant, from Monmouth County or Ocean County, Villani & DeLuca will be glad to discuss your case and help you. Call today to set up an appointment.